Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

April 15, 2013

Drive for diapers a need year round

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat

emann@pvdemocrat.com — In an economy that continues to be a day-to-day struggle for those on severely limited incomes, it can often come down to choosing whether to eat or provide other necessities the rest of us can take for granted.

It’s a problem volunteers with he Healthy Beginnings program have been dealing with for the past several years, once again the motivation behind a call for support of their child-related cause, the Bare Baby Bottom Diaper Drive.

A year around charity, Betsy White who oversees it with the McClain-Garvin County Youth and Family Center, recently noted how supplies are getting thin and that diapers of all sizes are currently needed to fill demand.

“I appreciate any donation we get,” said White. “We’re getting pretty low on diapers right now.”

The amount of people requesting diapers has remained pretty static since the emergency based charity began about five years ago for the two county organization, but White noted how diapers can quickly become low priority when something has to give during hard times.

She noted that with the median income in this area being at $28,070 for a household, it doesn’t take long before expenses for one child alone can place them as living under the poverty guideline.

“If we do not have diapers I do not know where else they could go,” said White, adding how as far as she knows no other group in the area provides these supplies, which also includes baby wipes and baby formula, as consistently as they do. “As far as I now we’re the only ones doing that.”

White stressed the hardest time of the year for people in need of a charity like this will actually be around the corner again soon as temperatures again reach summer heat levels. This results in more of a family’s financial resources going toward things like utilities.

People can donate items like the diapers or other supplies to their drop-off locations directly, though they also welcome money donations as it gives to them flexibility to purchase sizes/supplies they might not have on hand.

To put it in perspective of how expensive it can be to provide these items, one such mother she helped recently with just a large package of diapers and a can of infant formula, cost the charity about $35 for that one purchase.

The most common sizes they get requests for are those in the 3-5 range since there aren’t as many of those in a package as say something a newborn would wear.

“I just walked out of there going ‘Oh My Gosh’… I really feel for these families,” said White, commenting on a trip to the store and how helpful it is for a parent to have this income gap bridged until they get paid again. “It’s the larger diapers we typically have requests for.”

The locations where people can drop off diapers can be made at any library in Garvin County, the OSU Extension office in the county courthouse and at the family center office in Pauls Valley.

Healthy Beginnings also helps those who are pregnant or with a child under one year of age with home based education through Parents as a Teacher curriculum to address child development and preparing children for school.

“It has definitely covered a lot of bottoms,” said White. “That’s our goal, we don’t want any bare baby bottoms… It really never ends, it’s an ongoing thing.”

For more information on how to apply for assistance or to help, contact White at betsywhite@mcclaingarvinyouthandfamily.com, by phone at 405-238-9104 or 405-255-4147. Donations can also be mailed to the family center office at PO Box 349, Purcell, OK, 73080.