By Mary Bordner Tanck
PH Baby Grace Site Director
You might have heard some buzz around town about a program called Baby Grace; but what is Baby Grace and why is it important?
One in three American mothers report not having enough diapers for their children. Having insufficient diapers can lead to many physical, emotional, and economic problems for both parents and children.
Physical problems: When a child’s diaper is not changed often enough, he or she is susceptible to painful diaper rash, yeast infections, chafing, bladder infections, and even staph infections. No one wants to see a baby suffer like that!
Emotional problems: When a child is suffering from a painful diaper rash or infection, he or she will be irritable which can make parents feel frustrated and short-tempered. Added medical expenses due to infections only increase worry and frustration for parents. Mothers who report not having enough diapers also report a higher rate of depression and feelings of worthlessness.
Economic problems: Most child-care centers require a certain number of diapers be available to the child. If the mother can’t afford enough diapers to satisfy that requirement, she can’t go to work and the cycle perpetuates itself. Low-income families may also pay more per diaper than middle class families. Smaller diaper packs have a lower total cost, but the cost per diaper can be almost twice as much as the cost per diaper of jumbo packs. A low-income family may not have the readily available cash for purchasing a jumbo pack and they may not have the access to big box and wholesale stores that middle income families do.
There is not government assistance for purchasing diapers, but there is hope! Diaper banks and distribution centers are popping up all over the country; including right here in our own town!
Baby Grace is an outreach of the Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church (PHUMC). We have monthly open houses to distribute diapers to area children. Diapers are given directly to the families in need.
At Baby Grace, we believe every child deserves the dignity and health benefits of clean diapers no matter the circumstances into which he or she was born. On the 2nd Saturday of each month from 9 to 11 AM, families are invited to attend our open houses where we provide about one week’s supply of diapers along with wipes, diaper cream, shampoo, and laundry detergent. We do not have income or residency requirements as our only mission is to serve the children of our community.
In 2017, we provided 14,010 diapers to area children. We expect to provide nearly 20,000 in 2018. But we can’t do it alone!
Pleasant Hill Baby Grace does not receive any government funding. We do our work solely through the generous donations of our local community. Diapers, wipes, diaper cream, and laundry detergent can be donated at PHUMC. We are also registered at Target, Wal-Mart, and Amazon so your donation can be shipped directly to us (links to registries can be found on our Facebook page). Additionally, we will gladly accept monetary donations – cash and checks can be made to PHUMC, please note “Baby Grace” in the memo line.
We are very grateful for all the people who have donated items, time, and money since we opened in 2015. You have all made a difference to children in our corner of the world. We look forward to being in Pleasant Hill until every child is adequately diapered.
For more information, you can find us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/PleasantHillBabyGrace