Diapers are a basic need for babies, yet 1 in 5 Canadian mothers struggle to afford enough. WaterWerks has been working since 2009 to change that. Over the past nine years, we have collected over 500,000 diapers to help Newfoundland and Labrador families.
This year marks our 10th annual Christmas Diaper Drop. The event will begin December 1st and the Community Food Sharing Network will again be the recipient of the donations to distribute province wide.
“As a mother, I was deeply affected by the realization that many people just can’t afford diapers“, said Julie, the founder of the Diaper Drop at WaterWerks Agency. “After reading a story in the paper about the overwhelming need, I decided to host a local diaper drop to help babies right here in Newfoundland and Labrador.”
When Julie approached Roxanne Morrissey and Steve Tessier, partners at WaterWerks Agency, they immediately jumped on board as the sponsoring organization.
“It’s not the first thing that crosses your mind when you think about what to donate during the Christmas season, or any time of year,” said Roxanne Morrissey. “But it’s such basic need. And it’s hard to believe that such a basic need is not being met. We urge others to join us over the coming weeks and donate diapers to children in need.”
Individuals, organizations and entire offices have been involved in the past, being activists and donating diapers or money to this fantastic cause. Over the past several years, the employees at WaterWerks are humbled by the willingness of community members and businesses that have contributed to the drive.
What is “diaper need”?
Diaper need is the struggle to provide babies and small children with clean diapers. Parents often have to cut back on essentials, like food, utilities, medicine and child care in order to afford enough diapers. In households experiencing diaper need, babies may be kept in wet, dirty diapers for extended periods of time. In extreme cases, babies may wear the same diaper for more than a day or used diapers that have been cleaned or dried out. 1 in 5 Canadian parents has experienced diaper need.
Diaper need is real and diapers are not a luxury item
A 2013 study proved that diaper need has an impact on the health and overall well-being of both babies and parents. It’s a serious community concern. It affects parents who struggle to afford diapers and face maternal stress and depression, which can harm a child’s development and cause lifelong problems. It affects babies who suffer rash and infection when they have to sit in the same soiled diaper for too long.
What about cloth diapers?
Many parents experiencing diaper need report that they are not a realistic option. Daycare facilities do not typically allow cloth diapers and many public laundry facilities do not allow cloth diapers to be washed in their machines for sanitary reasons. That being said, we DO accept donations of cloth diapers as well!
What do babies cost?
A month’s worth of diapers can cost an estimated $72 per month. Just for diapers! According to a recent Globe and Mail report, The cost of caring for a baby can increase your annual expenses by an estimated $8,000.
In 2013 it was estimated that over 20% of the province’s youth live in poverty, with St. John’s holding the highest child poverty level among Canadian cities at 15.8%.
The province still suffers from the highest rate of food bank usage in the country.
21% of single mothers in Canada raise their children while living in poverty and 7% of single fathers raise their children in poverty.