91 percent of parents can change diapers more frequently because of Baby’s Bounty
Imagine you are the sole provider for your family, living paycheck to paycheck, then your car breaks down. Without a way to work, there’s no paycheck. Without a paycheck, there’s no money for diapers. Without diapers, your child can’t go to daycare, which means you can’t return to work. For some families, all it takes is one unexpected setback for them to spiral into poverty.
The global pandemic took a toll on everyone last year, especially underserved communities in Nevada who were already scraping by to pay rent. The aftermath of the closures is still affecting and hurting the community. Some companies downsized and terminated certain job positions altogether.
Baby’s Bounty, a local non-profit focusing on making Baby Bundles (a baby shower in a bag) for families in need, began helping the community by starting a diaper bank. Due to the pandemic, the diaper bank became a high priority.
Since 2008, the non-profit organization has assisted over 24,950 families struggling to provide basic necessities and healthcare items for their infants and young children.
On Wednesday, November 10, Baby’s Bounty will distribute their one millionth diaper in Nevada.
“I feel grateful to be doing this everyday,” says Kelly Maxwell, Executive Director of Baby’s Bounty. “Our goal of this program is to prevent infant death and give parents a good start.”
This may sound alarming and it should. Children sitting in soiled diapers potentially leads to serious health risks including contact dermatitis (diaper rash), viral meningitis and urinary tract infections (UTIs). Amid the health crisis, babies going to the hospital for these medical issues are also running the risk of contracting the virus. It’s a scary situation that no parent ever wants to experience.
Diapers are more than just baby toiletry items, they are preventative healthcare essentials.
Unfortunately, at this time, there isn’t a government program dedicated to this growing demand. While Baby’s Bounty is receiving some government funding for their Baby Bundle program, the Diaper Bank initiative has had to seek private funding to meet the diaper needs in Nevada.
Baby’s Bounty serves an average of 500 families monthly at each diaper bank in Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, and Henderson. The non-profit has provided nearly one million diapers (reaching their one millionth diaper this month) and three million wipes to 17,000 local families.
“We’re so excited for the opportunity to help more people,” says Maxwell. “I’m incredibly proud of our team.”
According to the non-profit’s survey, 91 percent of parents can change diapers more frequently because of Baby’s Bounty. And 98 percent of the families said receiving diapers reduced stress at home.
This is only a sliver of the full scope. According to the National Diaper Bank Network, 57 percent of parents who rely on daycare reported missing an average of four days of work or school in the past month due to lack of diapers, which parents are required to provide.
“I wish all babies here and elsewhere had all the supplies they need[ed]. But we are here to help,” says Maxwell. “The need is relentless.”
Compared to other cities, Maxwell says it’s a little more challenging here, but it’s challenging everywhere. There are still employment issues in Nevada.
“When COVID hit, they didn’t have jobs anymore. [Families with] two employees [working] on the Strip allowing them to afford their families don’t exist anymore. Although we see it recovering, I think casinos changed the way they are working.”
These numbers present a serious problem. It’s shocking that this issue hasn’t been addressed by legislation. Maxwell says it’s because the people making these decisions need to be informed.
It is essential for lawmakers to understand how families that are on the verge of homelessness need diapers just as much as they need food on the table.
From an economic standpoint, finding a solution also would reduce medical expenses for families. Providing diapers to families eliminates $4.3 million in medical costs in both incidences and days of diaper rash.
Federal programs like SNAP and WIC help food insecure families, but their benefits do not cover diapers.
Maxwell suggests two possible solutions. One way would be for the government to issue diaper vouchers to low-income families. Another way would be for them to allocate money to diaper banks with purchase power like Baby’s Bounty.
“The answer can’t be that we don’t do anything and let the kids sit in dirty diapers.”Kelly Maxwell, Executive Director of Baby’s Bounty
Baby’s Bounty wants to be part of the solution towards families working to become self-sufficient, but they can’t do it alone.
1 in 3 families struggle to afford diapers. This non-profit is Nevada’s only consistent resource supplying newborns with necessities.
The non-profit’s latest project is to acquire and equip a mobile delivery truck to bring diaper donations to families in underserved areas. Transportation is still an issue for some of their clients.
She says they will need a cargo van to carry all the supplies needed to distribute diapers in Pahrump, Sandy Valley, Mesquite, East Las Vegas and the Moapa Indian Reservation.
The community can pitch in by donating to the Diaper Bank, sponsoring an item, buying merchandise, volunteering and spreading the word.
She says they always need wipes and diapers, especially sizes 4 through 6. Plus, they also have an Amazon Wishlist on their site for those who want to pay it forward.
“We’ll take all the help we can get,” says Maxwell. “Diapering the city is a big deal.”
Celebrate with Baby’s Bounty as they distribute their one millionth diaper on Wednesday, November 10 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The event includes diaper donations, wipes, car seat inspections, giveaways and prizes.
Join the non-profit team to commemorate this special moment at MLK Jr. Senior Center, 2420 North MLK Boulevard. The diaper drive-thru will be in the east parking lot.