You still have a week to donate diapers and wipes to help local families across the Puget Sound in this year’s March of Diapers drive.
The effort, hosted annually by local nonprofit Do The Right Thing, distributes baby and adult hygiene products to nearly two dozen organizations and nonprofits across the region, helping keep families stocked. It’s now in its ninth year.
The diapers go to groups like FUSION, the Multi-Service Center, the Domestic Abuse Women’s Network, El Centro de la Raza, St. Vincent de Paul Tacoma and several food banks.
The drive collected 11,891 diapers and 3,492 wipes in just four hours at an event last Saturday at the Twin Lakes Fred Meyer.
But the effort this year needs some more people to kick in, nonprofit founder and organizer Cheryl Hurst said. They’re well below the number of diapers they had planned to collect by now, and are calling on the public to rally for the last week of the fundraiser.
How to donate
The drive is accept “preemie” through size 7 diapers, wipes and pull-ups and adult incontinence products (like Depends) through March 31.
There are 65 businesses and organizations across more than a dozen cities accepting the diaper donations, including Federal Way City Hall, Umpqua and Columbia Banks, Sub Zero Ice Cream, the Pete Anderson Center and Dumas Bay Centre.
For a full list and map of drop-off locations, visit www.dotherightthingnonprofit.org/diaper-drop-off-location.
You can keep up with the event at www.facebook.com/marchofdiapers, and also donate money directly to via their PayPal.
Even sharing the event on social media is a big help, Hurst said. It might put the news in front of someone who meant to donate but forgot.
A typical baby can blow through a dozen diapers a day, an expense that can cost families thousands every year. But SNAP benefits do not cover baby diapers or wipes, so balancing their cost against other essentials can be a strain for families struggling to make ends meet.
When families have to resort to rationing diapers or not changing them as often, babies are at risk of diaper rash or infections.
The March of Diapers drive started after Hurst visited the Domestic Abuse Women’s Network (DAWN) domestic violence shelter in 2013. It routinely has babies accompanying women seeking shelter from domestic abuse — and she saw that the shelter only had a single box of diapers.
After nine years, the drive is still collecting diapers for families in need, and the area doesn’t have a diaper bank, Hurst said — a facility she’s seriously interested in helping the community get started.
In the meantime, this drive can be the difference for families across the Puget Sound getting their diaper needs filled for another day, Hurst said.
One of the more surprising and beautiful things Hurst has noted is the number of young, childless men donating to the cause, such as a fisherman back from Alaska at their recent Fred Meyer drive.
“One gentleman … he was this kid that came back from Alaska,” Hurst said. “He bought six boxes of Pampers to give to us. You know, he spent like $150.”