Helping Children and Families Thrive—With Diapers

Are you passionate about helping families thrive throughout the Heart of Indiana?

 Ensuring the well-being of our communities’ youngest members is vital. Something as seemingly simple as keeping babies’ and toddlers’ bottoms dry profoundly impacts their health and early development. This is why Heart of Indiana United Way organizes and hosts an annual Diaper Drive. By providing essential support to families who are diligently working but grappling with the financial strain of diaper costs, we help parents pursue their own educational and professional goals while ensuring their children’s needs are met. 

            Across the five counties Heart of Indiana United Way serves, (Madison, Delaware, Henry, Randolph, and Fayette Counties), over 40% of households are working hard but unable to make ends meet or are living in poverty. Diapers are one of the most expensive ongoing costs for families with little ones.

            Half of families cannot afford enough diapers to keep their infants or toddlers clean and dry. Without diapers, babies cannot participate in early childhood education—and without early education or childcare, parents cannot go to work. A month’s worth of diapers costs between $80-100 per month per baby. Families need approximately 50 diapers per month per child.

            One in four families reported that they missed school or work because they did not have enough diapers to leave with their child at their childcare. On average, within the last month, 25% of parents experiencing diaper needs missed over five days of work or school because they did not have enough diapers to drop children off at childcare. That equates to $296 in lost wages per month for parents earning the federal minimum wage.

            Most concerning, diapers cannot be obtained with any state or federal program including SNAP or WIC. So, Heart of Indiana United Way is asking for your help.

            We are seeking businesses and community organizations to host Diaper Drive Collection Boxes and invite people to donate diapers at their locations from May 12th-June 16th. Past Diaper Drive hosts shared that the event adds to staff morale and job satisfaction. For churches, schools, and other community organizations—Diaper Drive is a fun and engaging way for your congregation or youth group to do something together that helps kids and families.

            United Way has been at the forefront of collective impact initiatives that focus on early learning. Those early years are crucial for setting kids up for success later in life. Diaper Drive is just one of the ways we make sure families get the support they need for their little ones to grow and learn because:

  • Ensuring all children have the strongest start to life is one of the best equity strategies for ensuring all adults have the education and opportunities necessary to be successful.
  • Almost 80% of brain development happens before the age of 3. We are on a mission to ensure families are embracing their power in raising readers.
  • Babies are born learning! While babies’ adults are talking, singing, and reading to them—those babies are making important connections in their brains which will help them learn how to read.
  • Babies need clean bottoms to thrive! Babies who remain in dirty diapers for prolonged periods experience diaper rash, infections, and other health problems.