...dedicated to providing diapers to children and adults in need.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Why You Should Support Austin Diaper Bank This Christmas

By Helen Young

As we get closer to the festive season, children all over the world are beginning to write their wish lists to Santa – or, if they’re not old enough – to start making their requests for what they would like for Christmas to their mom and dad. Parents have the task of keeping the magic alive with pretty lights, traditional food and perfect presents. While most people are looking forward to the holidays and the time they will spend together, for some families the season is a headache because they struggle to put food on the table so trying to buy gifts and other items.
Over the past decade there has been a more than 76% increase in the number of Austin residents living in poverty. A surge of people coming to live in Austin is to blame as it has driven house and rental prices up as the demand for accommodation soars. Another problem is that many of the hard working families in Austin simply aren’t being paid wages that are adequate enough to provide for basic living standards. Expensive housing coupled with low wages spells crisis.  40% of people living in Travis County spend more than half of their total wage on rent, a situation which is not sustainable and which should be a top human rights issue for governmental agencies and citizens alike. The Austin-Round Rock area is joint eighth place with Indianapolis for having the fastest growing poverty rate in the country.
The most vulnerable in our society – children – are the ones who are affected most deeply by poverty.

15% of Children in Austin Now Live in Severe Poverty
11,000 or 15% of Austin’s children live in extreme poverty, making life harder for them from the start. The effects of poverty start from babyhood with poor children having higher infant mortality rates than children from financially stable families. They also face a greater frequency of health challenges like asthma and diseases caused by malnutrition – a result of the high cost of groceries and the unaffordability of healthy food options that struggling parents can purchase. With reductions in the amount of food stamps the poorest families receive, some moms have resorted to re-using disposable diapers by flushing away the solids and then reattaching the diaper. This may make you shudder but the reality is, it often comes down to a choice between food and diapers for such families and the need for food will always win over the need for diapers.

Austin Diaper Bank is providing the Solution
Austin Diaper Bank helps provide a solution by donating diapers for local social services agencies. These agencies can then pass them on to children in need. In response to environmental concerns, Austin Diaper Bank can also donate second-hand cloth diapers that can be given to families who do have the facilities to wash them.
You can assist another family during the festive season by making a donation of unwanted cloth diapers to the diaper bank. Eco-friendly, biodegradable disposables, an acceptable choice for daycare centers, are also welcome. These diapers are usually made from recycled ingredients and don’t contain harsh chemicals, making them ideal for babies with sensitive skin. Their pricing, sometimes more than top brand disposables, puts them out of the reach of needy families.

Megan V Smith et al, Diaper Need and its Impact on Child Health, Pediatrics Vol. 132 No. 2 August 1, 2013, pp. 253 -259, accessed November 18, 2014, (doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-0597), http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/132/2/253.abstract?sid=92ac6c68-704a-44cf-b575-ea1d5feaabcf
Lauren Alberta et al, Diaper Dye Dermatitis, Pediatrics Vol. 116 No. 3 September 1, 2005, pp. e450 -e452, accessed November 18, 2014, (doi: 10.1542/peds.2004-2066), http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/116/3/e450.abstract?sid=92ac6c68-704a-44cf-b575-ea1d5feaabcf
Austin’s Poverty Rate on the Rise as Rents Skyrocket, Time Warner Cable News, accessed November 18, 2014, http://austin.twcnews.com/content/news/299211/austin-s-poverty-rate-on-the-rise-as-rents-skyrocket
Parents Who Can’t Afford Diapers are Re-Using Dirty Ones, Slate, accessed November 18, 2014, http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/10/28/reusing_dirty_diapers_for_some_parents_living_in_poverty_this_is_the_only.html