From individual donations to group fundraisers, volunteers will be accepting packages from 5 to 6:30 p.m. for the fifth annual Diaper Day.
Barbara Hickey, chairwoman of the Cobb Diaper Day Committee and founder of the Etiquette School of Atlanta, said the stress of a new baby can be an emotional strain, but for many Cobb County families, a newborn also increases financial struggles.
Hickey said the federal Food Stamps program does not cover hygiene products, such as diapers, which on average cost about $100 per month.
All donated diapers will be given to five local charities, the Christian Aide Mission Program, the Center for Family Resources, MUST Ministries, Reconnecting Families, and the YWCA of Northwest Georgia, to help hundreds of clients each month, Hickey said.
In the last four years, Hickey said nearly 400,000 diapers have been donated to assist low-income families.
“I am amazed at the generosity,” Hickey said about the people of Cobb County, where she has lived since 2001.
In the past five years, Diaper Day has grown so large that Hickey said there are almost too many people to thank, from the Marietta Kiwanis Club, to employees at local banks, churches and students from area schools.
Community groups in action
Darlene Duke, executive director of CAMP, off of Veterans Memorial Highway in Austell, said each year since 2008 CAMP has helped more local families.
CAMP went from helping 30 to 40 clients a day to 130 to 140 a day, until the amount plateaued last year as people have gone back to work, mostly in part-time, low paying jobs, said Duke, who was been with the organization for 12 years.
Duke said many clients have more than one child in diapers at a time, and need to use diaper money on food and medical bills.
There is barely any assistance for the nonprofit’s low-income clients to obtain disposable diapers, and most Laundromats and daycares will not accept cloth diapers, said Duke.
Hickey said donations on Diaper Day often include baby wipes and formula, but the biggest need is for diapers sized four, five and six for older kids that are not potty trained.
Duke said the diaper donations create a connection between the clients and the community.
“It is just good, kind folk working hard to help their neighbors,” Duke said.
Duke said she also appreciates the camaraderie between the nonprofits, which refer clients to each other.
“We are all out there for the same goal,” said Duke about standing in the cold on Diaper Day.
Hickey, who started Diaper Day in Cobb, said the first step was to gather “busy people” from local agencies who will get the word out. The next step was to pick a date and location for a drop off to show the community’s excitement to give.
“It is an easy thing to do,” she said.