National News

New York City woman helps get diapers for mothers in need

Posted November 16, 2017 2:18 p.m. EST

— Audrey Symes says she's an ordinary Manhattan mom, but in June of 2016, she started doing something pretty extraordinary: with her stroller and toddler daughter in tow, she began picking up new and un-used diapers from moms all over the city.

"I realized what a lynchpin diapers are for families in need. If you don't have the diaper, you can't drop your kid off at day care," Symes said.

After learning last year about a deficit in diapers for families in need, Symes alone donated more than 15,000 diapers to the Good+ Foundation, a nonprofit that uses the power of donated goods and transformational services with the hopes of breaking the cycle of family poverty.

According to the organization, 3 in 10 mothers living in poverty cannot afford an adequate supply of diapers and there is currently no state or federal program to help families with the purchase of this necessity. Good+ says their diaper donations have become an essential part of their work.

Donations are re-packaged then distributed to about 50 organizations across New York City's five boroughs and go directly to families who need them most.

"They know the actual real time needs of all the clients they work with. So on a monthly basis, we are donating the exact items these parents need to really help them be the parents they want to be," said Laurel Parker West, vice president of national programs and operations for Good+ Foundation.

Good+ Foundation's Garment District warehouse shelves are stacked with donations from people just like Symes and also from corporations, but it goes far beyond just diapers. Formula, nursing pads, high chairs and strollers are just some of the much-needed items families can receive.

As for Symes, she said she'll continue to take in diaper donations across the city as long as moms get in touch with her.