Diaper Bank: A Better World – One Diaper at a Time

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The Make a Change Diaper Bank was started because there is a big need for diaper assistance in New Jersey, and in other states across the country. In the July 2013 issue of the Pediatrics Journal a new research study shows that roughly 30%, or approximately 1 in 3, mothers have had to struggle just to provide diapers for their children. Many families often face a decision on whether to buy diapers or to purchase food for other children and family members, and this is a decision that no one should have to make. The idea for the Make a Change Diaper Bank was born when Mary Ann Malone Schwanewede saw the study results in the July 29th Today’s Mom blog post, and suddenly the squabbles of her three young sons at the table did not seem as important. Mary Ann posted a Facebook message on her page trying to recruit others to help her organize a diaper drive for her local community.

The results that Mary Ann Malone Schwanewede received were inspiring, and beyond her expectations. Mary Ann talked with her friend and neighbor Kim Lozada Kyasky about the problem and statistics in their community and the pair decided that they wanted to do something bigger and better than just a single diaper donation drive, and this was the start of the Make a Change Diaper Bank. The goal of the organization is to allow local community members to help each other, and to ensure that no infant or small child goes without a clean diaper or only gets this necessity at the expense of food or other necessary items for the household and other family members.

The Make a Change Diaper Bank was created using an existing 501(c)(3)nonprofit organization called the Tony Kyasky Fund. This 501 fund was originally started in 1998 in memory of Kim Kyasky’s brother in law Tony, the brother of Kim’s husband. Kim’s mother in law and father in law agreed that there was a need in the community, and using the Tony Kyasky Fund to start the Make a Change Diaper Bank was the perfect solution. This step helped to keep the memory of Tony Kyasky alive while also helping those in need in the local community.

Families who could benefit from the Make a Change Diaper Bank are those in dire need. Diapers can cost a family almost $1,000 a year, or close to $20 per week. Families who struggle to provide diapers for their children often reported having more difficulty managing stress and they tend to suffer from depression more frequently. These negative emotions can affect the development of the child and other children in the household, and the health of the entire family. Many people do not realize how important a clean diaper is, both for the child who needs it and the family of this child. The focus of the Make a Change Diaper Bank is to encourage community efforts and to spread awareness of diaper need, while collecting diapers and distributing them to the families in the most need.

Some questions to think about:

  • Do you think the Make a Change Diaper Bank is a good idea? Why or why not?
  • What needs have you found in your local community?
  • Would you be willing to take part in a diaper drive?
  • What about volunteering some of your time to the Make a Change Diaper Bank?
  • What else can you do to help needy families in your community?
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