This year we’re giving back to the community by hosting a diaper donation drive benefiting PDX Diaper Bank. On Saturday, September 17th, 2016 we’ll be welcoming Beaverton and PDX families to our new location to bring their diaper donation. Anyone brining a pack of diapers, wipes, adult diapers, or pads will be entered into our raffle. Prizes currently include photo shoots, massages, Pick Your Dish gift certificate, Onya Baby carriers- and more!
Can’t make it to the drive? Don’t worry, we’re a drop off location for diaper donations, so come by anytime.
WHY a diaper drive? Read more below to learn about the struggles that thousands of families in the area are facing.
Random fun fact: The founder of PDX Diaper Bank (myself, Rachel Alston) experienced diaper need firsthand eight years ago. The impact of this stressful maternal experience is what provided the inspiration to later open the doors of PDX Diaper Bank in 2012.
“I vividly remember being at the grocery store determining which was a more emergent need for my child, a package of diapers or a gallon of milk. No mother should have to make that choice.”
My profession is: Executive Director, PDX Diaper Bank
Where do you find passion in your work? I can say from personal experience that the impact that diaper need has on a family is strong. The feeling of not being able to provide basic necessities for your child is extremely difficult and has been directly linked to maternal depression. Having an understating of this experience fuels my passion for my work. I believe in the mission of PDX Diaper Bank; by collecting diaper donations, our services make an enormous impact on families and the community every day.
What do you want people to know about the service you offer? How do you support new families? The services that PDX Diaper Bank provides are unique to Oregon. There are no other diaper banks and no government assistance for families experiencing diaper need. PDX Diaper Bank currently supports 14 nonprofits and government agencies (such as schools) with diapering supplies monthly. We collaborate with our partners to get diapering supplies into the hands of families that need them the most. PDX Diaper Bank is just brushing the surface of diaper need here in Portland; there is much more to be done!
What are some myths about your service or profession that you want people to understand?
Myth: Diaper need is a just poverty issue.
Truth: If a family doesn’t have clean diapers for their child(ren), this often causes isolation and depression; I hear many stories about parents not being able to leave the home due to diaper shortage. Children are also unable to attend childcare without proper diapering supplies and therefore parents are unable to go to work. Without work, parents don’t get paid (and sometimes lose their jobs). Diaper need is a poverty issue, yes, but it is also a health issues as well. When parents are forced to count or ration diapers in order to make their supply stretch, babies are often left in a single diaper for much too long (sometimes days at a time) as a result. This is extremely unhealthy for the child and often causes severe skin rashes, urinary tract infections, and even communicable sicknesses such as hand-foot-and-mouth disease.
Can you share something you’ve learned from being a parent? I’ve learned that although being a parent is the most rewarding experience a person can have, it is also the most difficult “job” in the world. On top of this, some parents/caregivers are overcoming homelessness, escaping domestic violence, experiencing mental health issues, finishing/furthering their education, locating stable employment, etc. This is tough! Not having to think about where their next pack of diapers is coming reduces a lot of stress so the individual(s) can focus on the bigger picture of bettering their family’s circumstances.
What’s your favorite place to go, or thing to do on vacation? As long as I can see the ocean, I’m happy! ☺
Business Address: 6011 SE 92nd Ave, Portland OR 97269
Twitter Page/Handle: https://twitter.com/PDX_Diaper_Bank / @PDX_Diaper_Bank
Links to research that supports my goal and mission:
PDX Diaper Bank is a longstanding member of the National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to raise awareness of diaper need, strengthen community-based diaper banks, and generate donations of dollars and diapers, so that all babies remain clean, dry and healthy. NDBN has and endless list of research on their website regarding diaper need on a national level: http://nationaldiaperbanknetwork.org/