Poop is a daily and abundant topic of conversation in my household.
It is, I would suggest, for most moms of a potty-training toddler. And by “potty-training toddler,” I mean “child who sits on the toilet for 1.8 seconds about seven times a day because I cajole her with treats and/or promises of eternal love and/or puppies.”
And because of this, there’s not a trip to Target that goes by without a trip down the diaper aisle — which in and of itself can result in the happiest moment of the day. When Target runs its “Free $5 Gift Card with Purchase of Luvs Diaper Megapack” promotion, you might as well have just handed me the check to the recent $1.6 billion lottery.
Not even kidding.
So when my company recently decided during an annual retreat to do 23 good deeds this year, the idea of a diaper drive to benefit local babies and toddlers really hit home.
(The number 23, BTW, isn’t as random as it may appear — but rather because Estipona Group, the aforementioned company, has been in business for 23 years. Make sense? Good.)
Anyhow, we at the Estipona Group have worked in the past on marketing efforts on behalf of an incredible local non-profit called the Women and Children’s Center of the Sierra. WACCS provides education, job training, resources and support to help women escape or avoid poverty and provide a better life for their families. Women who are actively participating in its educational programs are eligible to receive diapers for free.
When I first heard of this concept about a year ago — when my toddler was “pre-potty-training” — I thought about how wonderful that sounded.
Free diapers? Sign me up.
But then I heard about the reality these women face — the women who really need the services provided by WACCS.
Their babies and toddlers often go without fresh diapers. Because, let’s face it, not everyone can drop $30 on a package of diapers that will last about a week. Especially if they can’t afford food, a place to live or warm clothes.
I mean, wouldn’t you rather spend money on a roof than a diaper — if, for example, you could just REUSE an old diaper that smells overwhelmingly of ammonia because it’s drenched in urine…but hey, at least you have a place to call home.
And you know, instead of diapers, there are always those plastic bags that will one day be banned from grocery stores. When tied around chubby baby legs and privates, these can actually do a decent job of collecting pee or poop.
Or at least that’s how some of these women have to justify their choices.
As a woman, as a mom, as a HUMAN BEING, this breaks my heart.
So we’re ready to do something about it. And I hope you’ll join me.
For the next few weeks — through Feb. 29 — we’re collecting diapers for families in our community.
These diapers will go directly to the WACCS, which will in turn be provided to struggling moms who desperately need them.
As we talked to the executive director of WACCS in advance of our diaper drive, this one fact bubbled to the top: They are even more desperately in need of diapers in sizes 4, 5 and 6.
Why? Because in order for a child to go to daycare — which often needs to happen so families can work and break the cycle of poverty — they need diapers.
Of course they need diapers. Any mom of a daycare-bound baby knows this, because we receive hourly/daily/weekly reminders of the need for “more diapers, please,” followed by a heart or smiley face, just to soften the blow.
But sometimes, these moms can’t afford diapers, meaning they can’t work, meaning they can’t support their families, meaning there are no diapers, let alone a roof over their heads.
It’s a vicious cycle, made even worse by an awareness that the baby or toddler is the innocent victim here.
And it gets worse: Children without access to clean diapers can develop severe and painful diaper rash, and some children have even developed kidney problems. Not having clean diapers can also affect the mental health of both the mother and the child, and it can interfere with bonding.
So please, let’s do something about this. Please, in your weekly trip to Target, Walmart or Scolaris, buy a package of diapers. Any size, but 4, 5 and 6 are in greatest need. And then drop that package off at any of the locations below.
- WACCS, 3905 Neil Road, Suite 2
- VERITAS Empowerment Boutique 4001 S Virginia St #2
- Immunize Nevada, 427 Ridge Street, Suite C
- BAD APPLE VNTG., 1001 S Virginia St.
- Old World Coffee Co., 104 California Ave.
- Comstock Insurance, 9424 Double R Blvd
- Scolari’s Food & Drug Company, all Reno-Sparks locations
- Sak n Save, 1901 Silverada Blvd.
- Great Basin Orthopaedic, 689 Sierra Rose Drive, Suite B and 845 Aitken Street
- Northern Nevada Center for Independent Living, 999 Pyramid Way, Sparks
- Grocery Outlet, 200 Lemmon Drive, Lemmon Valley
- Flips USA Gymnastics, 550 Dunn Circle, Sparks
- Bibo Coffee Co., 945 Record Street, Reno
- Rounds Bakery, 294 E Moana Ln #10
Pretty please? And thank you.
We’re calling this drive “Diaper Duty” – first and foremost because it is our duty to try to help the innocent babies in our community, but secondarily, because we like using the word “duty” in our professional role.
And while we’re having fun with the name, we take this campaign completely seriously.
That’s why, in collection boxes throughout town, you’ll see my contributions. Or those of our creative director. Or those of our agency’s owner.
This cause is near and dear to our hearts. And for me personally, it resonates perhaps stronger than for anyone else on the team. Because all I have to do is look at my darling toddler — you know, the one whose favorite thing to say (usually to random passing strangers) is “High five! I just peed!” — to remember how critical diapers are.
Now if you’ll excuse me: I have a puppy to promise in exchange for poop.
For more information about “Diaper Duty: A Community-Wide Diaper Drive,” visit our Facebook page here.