● By Rick McGarry
Great Start Parent Coalition is holding the Diaper Drive again in the month of April for Livingston County. We wanted to reprint this article to encourage folks to get involved.
As economic struggles continue locally there has been an increase in the number of families lacking basic needs and relying on state assistance to provide for their families. Unfortunately, much of this assistance does not provide for diapers. Last yearPregnancy Help Clinic handed out over 40,000 diapers in Livingston County.Many agencies like the Pregnancy Help Clinic, Love Inc. and the Family Resource Center are also struggling in the economic downturn. During the month of April, the Great Start Livingston Parent Coalition, a group of volunteer parents, have partnered with Gleaners and Love, Inc. to hold a community wide diaper drive. Diapers can be dropped off at over 30 locations throughout the county.
The diapers will help families such as Brian’s (Not his real name). His story demonstrates the impact donating even just one package of diapers during the month of April can have on the life of a child and his family. Brian is the father of Rose, but he was not even aware of her existence until after she was a month old. For circumstances out of his control he did not get a chance to meet his daughter until after she was a year old. Brian has sole custody of Rose now, and he shares his story below.
Having Rose in the house brought on new challenges for our family. My mother and father had recently been laid off from work and were not yet collecting unemployment. I was working part time jobs while trying to finish school. Money was tight, and after paying household bills, there wasn’t much left to buy the things babies need.
One summer day I realized we only had a few diapers left. We didn’t have the money to buy them or gas for an extra trip to the store. I remembered my family support worker had mentioned to me that they keep a small supply of diapers at their office for emergencies. I rode my mini chopper bike to the Family Resource Center, and they were able to give me a package of diapers. Then I realized I couldn’t carry them safely home. I asked if they had some rope or string. They didn’t, but were curious why I asked. I was so embarrassed to tell them I needed it to tie the diapers to my back bumper. They eventually found some yarn and I was able to make it work. I was tired when I got home (the round-trip was 14 miles), but I was proud of my solution and determination to get what my baby needed
I have a new appreciation and understanding of what it means to be a single parent. I’m constantly busy taking care of Rose, going to school and looking for a full time job. I’m lucky because I have parents who support me, even though they are struggling too. My entire family is lucky that there are other resources out there that helped us with things like food and heat. We are grateful for all the community support that has helped us to give Rose a better life.
If you are in need of diapers, contact Love INC (517)552-3620.