Diaper Desperation: No bottoms left behind

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) – More and more families are having to choose between their basic needs, like food and rent, and their babies diapers.

As parent is may be hard to imagine your baby sitting in a dirty diaper all day long. But according to a local service group, that’s what happening for a lot of babies whose parents can’t afford diapers.

According to DiaperDifference.org, babies use an average of nine diapers a day and up to 2600 a year.

Locally, the Junior League of Eau Claire said the demand for babies in need is $50,000 a year.

The Dept. of Human Services said no federal, state of county programs help with diapers right now. WIC and food stamps also don’t cover them.

Now the Junior League of Eau Claire is stepping up to help with the diaper dilemma in the area.

It’s running a diaper bank so area food pantries have some diapers for parents in need.

Advanced Massage Therapies and Stork Vision are battling head to head to collect as many diapers as they can for the Junior League so that no bottom gets left behind.

“Our goal would be to make sure that every child who needs one has a diaper available to them,” said co-chair of the Diaper Bank Kate Gillett.

The Diaper Bank would supply diapers for people in need in Eau Claire. It’s working with Feed my People Food Bank to disperse the diapers at three major Eau Claire food pantries.

The Diaper Bank is also a first of its kind in the city.

“I think that’s probably the number one purchased item for a baby, the most expensive besides daycare,” said owner and sonographer of Stork Vision in Eau Claire Jillian Rogers.

Stork Vision and Advanced Massage Therapies hope to cover as many bare derrieres as they can. Each package of diaper donated at Stork Vision gets you a raffle ticket to win a free recordable heartbeat animal. Over at Advanced Massage Therapies, each diaper donation will get you 15 minutes of free pregnancy massage and $5 off a 1-hour baby massage.

“There are so many needy families out there that can't afford diapers and if we can supply as many diapers as we can then great,” said Rogers.

And the risks can get serious from rashes all the way to Hepatitis A.

“The horror stories are that there are babies who only have parents who can only have one diaper to a baby a day or have to rinse out diapers or clean up the diaper and put that diaper back on,” said Gillett.

Right now, Feed My People Food Bank has no diapers at all, highlighting the need for more diapers.

“They might cut back on food in order to supply, and resourceful looking for whatever resources there are so they can save money there so they can spend money on things like diapers,” said executive director of the food bank Emily Moore.

And if you’re wondering, why not just use cloth diapers, there’s a reason for that.

“Most daycare centers are not allowed or can't accept cloth diapers or reusable diapers. They have to have disposable diapers,” said Gillett.

The Junior League also said most Laundromats don’t want you to wash cloth diapers using their machines for sanitary reason.

The diaper drives at Advanced Massage Therapies and Stork Vision in Eau Claire run through April 15th. You can drop off packages of diapers during business hours. They’re also accepting baby wipes, diaper rash cream and baby powder.

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