Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Kidcycle consignment sale funds Diaper Bank for needy families in the Triangle

Posted March 11, 2013

Since it opened for its first sale three years ago, Kidcycle, the children's consignment sale that moves between Orange and Durham counties, has collected diapers for needy families.

Shoppers and consignors have brought in bags of disposable diapers, which were then distributed to parents in need in the Triangle. Kyla Wallace and Michelle Old, the moms behind the sale, started the Diaper Drop after learning about the high rate of diaper rash among poor children because their parents couldn't afford to regularly change diapers.

The response from shoppers and consignors has been so great that they decided to do more. In January, Kidcycle provided a start-up donation to create the Diaper Bank of North Carolina. The goal is to ensure that children living in poverty will get the diapers that they need. Old is serving as executive director.

Old tells me that the impact of not having enough clean diapers goes far behind bad diaper rashes. According to an email to Kidcycle fans, the group wrote that:

  • In low-income households, babies and toddlers often spend the entire day or longer in the same diaper. Inadequate diaper changing increases the risk of numerous health problems including severe diaper rash and skin infections, and may be linked to an increased rate of hepatitis.
  • Discomfort caused by inadequate diaper changing increases distress and crying. Studies show that a baby crying for a prolonged period may be at greater risk of physical abuse by caregivers.
  • Most childcare facilities require that parents leave a full day's supply of disposable diapers. Families that cannot afford to do so are unable to take advantage of childcare, including free or subsidized programs. This creates additional problems of work and school absenteeism.
  • WIC and food stamps do not cover the cost of diapers, which can cost as much as $100 a month.

Some of you might remember my post about the Diaper Train in Raleigh, which organizes diaper drives and  distributes the diapers directly to clients. The group distributed 240,000 diapers to families in 2012.

The Diaper Bank will serve as more of ... as the name states ... a bank. It will be collecting, fundraising and storing diapers, which will be distributed to groups that work with families living in poverty. They include groups such as Welcome Baby Durham and Healthy Families Durham, which don't have access or time to raise money for diapers, along with all of their other needs, Old tells me. Groups often don't have room to store diapers when they do receive a load.

The bank also will provide emergency diaper kits to meet immediate needs and offer guidance and administrative support for diaper drives. Organizers hope the bank will create a model that can be copied and supported across the state.

"We will be focusing on becoming a diaper bank that many organizations can access, even the Diaper Train if they are ever in need," Old tells me. "Our goal is not only to address the unmet need for diapers, but also to advocate for recognition of diapers as a basic human need all children deserve."

I am looking forward to sharing more about this group. You can find them online and here on Facebook.

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