Doulas Northwest | We Heart Booties. No Child Wet Behind.
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09 Mar We Heart Booties. No Child Wet Behind.

Some of you are aware that Doulas Northwest is hosting Olympia’s first annual No Child Wet Behind Diaper Drive/5K & Family Fun Run.

This is a non profit organization we know to be doing life changing and valuable work. It’s easy for us to confidently get behind its cause!

There is also a personal connection to this type of community event that has great meaning to us at Doulas Northwest. Casondra would like to share:

“There was a time in my adult life when my husband and I had difficulty making ends meet. My husband worked full time and I was working on building my own business. With 4 children, a home and utilities, we had difficulty with expenses such as diapers and food. We frequented the food bank for about a year and used food stamps to supplement. Without those resources, there is no doubt in my mind that my children would have skipped meals and gone hungry. There would be times when I would choose not to have a snack or eat something for lunch, just so that my children could have more. It was a raw experience to rely so heavily on government and community resources, but it helped us to survive as a family.

The experience helped to instill in me a deep appreciation for the resources available in our community, for the people who donate their time to making sure they are available, and also for the people who use them. When you spend hours in line at the food bank to hopefully walk away with fresh vegetables and proteins, and hours in line at the Other Bank to hopefully walk away with enough toilet paper and diapers to get you through the next couple of days, there’s plenty of time to get to know the stories of the other people standing in line. These become people, faces, stories and lives instead of just numbers and statistics.

One of the biggest struggles we had as a family, was keeping enough diapers on hand to make it through those last couple of days before we had income coming in. We used cloth diapers to keep costs down until he outgrew them, but couldn’t afford to buy larger sizes. We considered ourselves lucky to have that option for the duration that we did.

The reality for many though, is that cloth diapering is not an option either because of the lack of a washer or dryer or a child care center that does not accept cloth diapering as an acceptable diapering method.”

1 in 3 families experience a diaper need in Washington State. Diaper banks are struggling to keep up with the demand, often finding that they do not have enough diapers or diapers in the correct sizes to provide to families.

In order for families to go to work and children to be provided childcare, diapers must be provided. If the child has no clean diapers, the child cannot go to childcare, the families cannot go to work and the cycle of poverty is perpetuated. Families ration the diapers, keeping their children in the soiled diapers for longer periods of time, increasing the risk of skin issues, urinary tract infections, and diaper rash.

The average monthly cost of diapers is $80.

Food stamps and food banks do not provide diapers for families in need.

The average TANIF amount is roughly $500 per month, needing to cover living expenses such as rent, utilities and vehicle costs.

Doulas Northwest is excited to be hosting the first annual No Child Wet Behind Diaper Drive/5K & Family Fun Run on May 21, 2016 at Capitol Lake in Olympia, Washington. This is a cause and community give back that holds great personal meaning to those of us at DNW and we’re thrilled to share it with you.

Leading up to the 5K event itself, DNW will be collecting diapers at diaper drop off locations throughout Thurston and Pierce County (see event page for drop off locations) and donating them to the NCWB beneficiary, YWCA’s The Other Bank. Doulas Northwest will also be purchasing a package of diapers for every labor and/or postpartum doula service purchased.

We want to share No Child Wet Behind with every single person who will listen, and that includes you!

There are a number of valuable ways to participate and get involved with us. One of them is to plan on running the 5K and/or running/walking the 1 mile Family Fun Run on May 21st.

Registration for the 5K and Family Fun Run is easy!  Just go to this registration page. Registration for the 5K is $20 for anyone over the age of 10. Registrants must bring a package of diapers to the event on May 21st. Proceeds will be turned into diapers which will also be donated to the Other Bank and distributed to local families in need.

Authored by: Casondra Gerlich

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