Two years ago, now-retired United Way of Northwest Connecticut Executive Director Bill Egan
and I started the Northwest Connecticut Diaper Drive because we were moved by stories of local families having to divert money from budgets for food and medicine to pay the cost of diapering their young children.
(Obligatory photo of my daughter Marley making me wear one of her Dora the Explorer diapers as a hat provided.)
And by a social worker's tales of struggling parents "stretching" their supply by keeping infants and toddlers in soiled diapers, leading to some unhappy little kids at the least, health problems such as severe rash and hepatitis exposure at the worst.
Diapers are expensive. And they're not covered by any kind of food stamp or other government assistance program.
Women show up at places like the Susan B. Anthony Project domestic abuse shelter, or the FISH homeless shelter, with nothing. These organizations scrape for every dollar just to keep the doors open and food on the shelves. And they must divert resources to diapers in situations like that also.
We're proud, through the generosity of our readers and local businesses, to have provided more than 100,000 diapers so far.
And now we're gearing up to launch our 3rd annual Diaper Drive.
It will run from July 1 to July 31, accepting both cash donations (used to purchase diapers at a bulk discount and in the sizes most needed by local organizations) or actual diapers at drop-off locations throughout the area.
If you've given in the past, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts and from the bottoms of babies across Northwest Connecticut.
If you are new to the project, we ask that you consider giving whatever you can afford. Like our Warm the Children, still going strong after 26 years of providing warm, winter clothing each holiday season, the Diaper Drive has been carried by lots of small donations from readers.
Together, it adds up to a lot.
You can send donations to Northwest Connecticut Diaper Drive, care of The Register Citizen, P.O. Box 58, Torrington, CT 06790, or stay tuned for a full list of drop-off locations, which will always include our offices at 190 Water St. in Torrington and the United Way office on Bird Street, just off East Main.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the United Way at 860-489-4131.
Follow news about the Northwest Connecticut Diaper Drive at its new blog by clicking here