Durham organization collects diapers for less fortunate - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Durham organization collects diapers for less fortunate

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The Diaper Bank of North Carolina has collected 15,000 diapers in January. The Diaper Bank of North Carolina has collected 15,000 diapers in January.

When Michelle Old was adopting a young son, she was surprised at how often he went through diapers – 15 in a day – due to severe diaper rash.

"I started thinking about what families do when they can't afford diapers," she said.

That led her to form the Diaper Bank of North Carolina in January.

Since that time, the organization has collected 15,000 diapers.

The first distribution was in June. The diapers go to organizations that already work with families living in poverty, Old said.

"We are seeing more and more stories of children that are kept in a diaper for a whole day, one diaper. Families forced to rinse out diapers and reuse them and literally families deciding between food and diapers," she said.

It's a trend nationwide.

Researchers at Yale University just published a study in the journal, Pediatrics, showing the need.

The study included more than 800 low-income women. It found that about 30 percent did not have as many diapers as they would like for their babies. Those women were more likely to report extreme stress or depression.

"It's devastating when a family cannot provide for a baby's basic needs," Old said.

She said research shows mental health of parents has a strong, and often permanent, effect of a child's development and can affect a child's readiness for school and mental health into adulthood.

Often time those women in need have nowhere to turn but diaper banks like Old's organization because diapers are not covered by WIC and food stamp programs, she said.

While the Diaper Bank of N.C. primarily donates to organizations to distribute, it does have "emergency packs" for families in need immediately.

Old said during the summer months, many community groups stop meeting and churches that hold drives slow down, so there has been a decline in diaper donations.

There are several donation spots and drives to collect diapers and the organization can even send someone out to pick up diaper donations.

Old said The Diaper Train at Saint Saviour's Center in Raleigh collects diapers in that part of the Triangle.

Read more about the nationwide need.

For more information on how to help, visit Diaper Bank of N.C. on the web.


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