Green River Star -

By Amanda Cavaz
Communications administrator for the city of Green River 

The littlest big need in GR

 

October 3, 2018



Every parent knows that having children is expensive. For many, just how expensive is the surprising part. The costs of caring for and raising kids go up year after year. There are millions of choices to make about what a child needs, what particular style and brand is the best fit for the child, and what is simply not necessary. When I was a new mom, one of the biggest stresses was choosing the “right” bottle, sleeping arrangement, formula, and the list goes on.

For families that have financial hardships, these same choices become less about the variety of gadgets and much more about simply covering the necessities.

Last week, was Diaper Need Awareness Week. This really hit home for me, as I happen to have a two-year-old still in diapers. I put myself in the shoes of the 330 families in Sweetwater County that used the Community Diaper Bank in 2017 and imagined not having enough fund to cover diapers for my son.

The impact this has on families is more than an inconvenience. The statistics I received from United Way of Southwest Wyoming show how big of an issue this really is.

More than one third of households experience a diaper need, and 57 percent of these parents missed work because of this need. Diapers are a requirement for attending daycare. Last year, the Community Diaper Bank of Sweetwater County distributed 60,031 diapers. This is a real need in our community.

Families cope with this challenge in a number of ways. Most will try to borrow money or diapers from family or friends to fill the need. When that’s not an option, some will stretch diaper use by keeping the child in a diaper longer, or diaperless altogether.

Obviously this is a difficult challenge for parents and can increase health risks for children. Only 30 percent of families with a diaper need get diapers from a diaper bank or charity.

The average need is 19 diapers short each month. This is not insurmountable. We can close this gap.

This is something we can make a difference with.

Here’s how you can help. Donate to the Community Diaper Bank with donations of diapers or money. Donate diapers to the Foodbank of Sweetwater County. Share the word. Both that diapers are needed as donation items, and they available for those in need.

The need for diapers is year round, not only during Diaper Need Awareness Week.

If you missed out on donating last week, I urge you to donate now. If you want to do more or have questions, contact Shelly Richno at 307-362-5003 or srichno@swunitedway.org

 

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