Doing what we can to help one another during this unprecedented time keeps so many of us going each day. More importantly, it offers us hope that lives can be better for everyone in this country.
At the National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN), that’s exactly what we do: Provide hope through small things like diapers. Our mission has resonated with the Daily Kos Community. Your incredible donations, made through the Daily Kos COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, help keep us going and offer us hope. We are grateful and overwhelmed by your thoughtfulness and generosity.
For nearly 10 years, the team at National Diaper Bank Network has been working to ensure that children, families, and individuals in the United States have access to the material basic necessities required to remain healthy and thrive. Our mission expanded in May 2018 with the launch of the Alliance for Period Supplies. Period products, just like diapers, are a basic necessity.
With our national network of more than 200+ member diaper banks and 85+ allied period supply programs, we are working to end diaper need, to end period poverty, and to bring about real change in the U.S.
Even before COVID-19, one in three U.S. families struggled to provide enough diapers for their babies. Now, our member diaper banks, working in all 50 states, report that they are distributing two, three, four or more times the number of diapers to families than they did before COVID-19. Our experience shows us that the need will continue in the months ahead. Critical funding will enable diaper banks to help families weather this health and economic crisis, and begin to recover and regain their footing, particularly as parents attempt to return to work.
The National Diaper Bank Network works to end diaper need each and every day, and we respond quickly and efficiently when disasters or emergencies occur. We have supported relief and recovery efforts following hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, fires, and even government shutdowns. Since the onset of the pandemic, National Diaper Bank Network has distributed over 20 million donated diapers and nearly $100,000 in direct financial assistance to our member programs which serve communities across the country.
Additionally, we are continuing our advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill, and you can help. Diaper need is a public health issue, and ending diaper need is nonpartisan in nature. We are calling on every U.S. Senator to adopt a bipartisan request for $200 million in emergency funding for diaper distribution programs. This funding request is being led by Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Republican Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa. Joining Murphy and Ernst in supporting the request are Democratic Sens. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, as well Republican Sen. Susan Collins, Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, and Thom Tillis of North Carolina. Our goal is to help families throughout the country get the diapers they need to keep their children clean, dry, and healthy.
We are grateful to the Daily Kos Community for your generosity and for supporting our mission. Together, we can #EndDiaperNeed and #EndPeriodPoverty in the U.S.
We invite you to join us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), support our legislative agenda, get involved in National Diaper Need Awareness Week (Sept. 21 – 27, 2020), and please, let us know how we are doing.
As we like to say in our world, #DiaperOn!
Joanne Samuel Goldblum is CEO of the National Diaper Bank Network.