by Emily Glover of Giving Diapers Giving Hope
Today there was a package at the back door. I recognized the name on the return address as one of the families as a client of Giving Diapers Giving Hope.
In under a year, we have sent diapers to just under one hundred families. That may seem like a lot of people for the name to be fresh in my mind, but I had recently corresponded with this particular mama. Our clients pay round trip postage when they initially borrow the diapers. So when it comes time to send the diapers back, clients contact us and we arrange the return postage for the diapers. I’ll admit that when began this organization I really didn’t think that the diapers would ever come back, but today’s package is not the first set of diapers returned. I guess that proves that – for the most part – our system works.
What struck me when I opened the package was the diapers that were in it. The client was one of our first clients and the diapers in the package were diapers that I had once used on my own children. Take a look at the diaper now, and it is in pretty rough condition. The cotton knit is ripping and the leg elastics are completely worn out.
I bought the diaper used on Diaper Swappers when my now 3 ½ was 6 months old. It came from a mama in Brooklyn, NY who loved the particular brand of diaper and was thinning her collection to buy some new diapers. This was one of the first fitted diapers that I ever bought so it stands out in my mind. I know that every diaper that comes to Giving Diapers Giving Hope has a story behind it. I am sure that a year or more later if a cloth diapering mama came across a diaper that she owned a wave of memories of her little one wearing that diaper would come over her.
We receive many diapers that are in need of some sort of repair, and this one will be treated no differently. While it may look like it is completely unusable to some people, it still has some life left in it. The cotton knit is really the only part that of the diaper that is worn through, so I am going to cut most of it off the diaper. The leg elastic is in need of replacing. Once that is done, the diaper won’t be like new, but it certainly will be in lendable condition.
This is the story of so many diapers that we receive as donations from either families or manufacturers. With some minor repairs like elastic or aplix replacement the diapers are serviceable. In other cases, we receive pocket diapers with failing PUL. For those, we just treat them like a fitted and send them out with a covers. A little time in our “diaper hospital” and most diapers can be fixed thanks to the efforts some amazing volunteers.
In addition to diapers needing repair, we also receive donations that are seconds from manufacturers or diapers from families that are in excellent used condition. While Kristen and I are the ones who do the day to day running of this organization, it just won’t exist if it wasn’t for the donations from families and manufacturers or without the time that is donated by volunteers that sew and repair for us.
We even have a great volunteer, who works with clients via email to trouble shoot any diaper problems they are having from fit to washing routines. I continue to be astounded by the generosity of people who donate diapers and people who donate their time. Any fluffy gift that arrives brings a smile to our faces.
To learn more about Giving Diapers Giving Hope please visit our website: http://www.givingdiapersgivinghope.org/ There you can find information about donating diapers or applying for a diaper loan.