There was once a time, not long ago, when I was a single mom. I was on TANF, food stamps, WIC, Medicaid, and I had a childcare subsidy. I was a full time community college student and I worked at a local weekly newspaper. I had applied for a seasonal job and ended up with a full time job as an assistant manager of a retail store in the mall.
TANF and food stamps were removed because I was making $9.00/hr.
The dry cereal, peanut butter, milk, eggs, and cheese that we got from WIC, combined with mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and ramen, sustained us.
The electricity got shut off.
The phone got shut off.
I borrowed cash to put gas in the car to get to work.
Once, a boyfriend paid for new glasses when I accidentally sat on mine and cried big crocodile tears because I couldn’t see to drive to work without them, but I didn’t have the money for new ones.
When I got a 35 cent/hr raise at work that went primarily to taxes, my childcare subsidy was reduced by another $100/mo.
It was hard. We barely made it. Our TV was a black & white hand me down from my grandparents. Everything we owned was used. It was hard. The year was 1998. We struggled a lot and my son was potty trained.
I cannot imagine how I would have made it if I had to buy diapers too. Or what if I didn’t have a car? What if I hadn’t found the ONE daycare in town open 24/7 to accommodate my retail hours? Being part of the working poor affects you everyday. I’ve been there, I’ve lived it, and I know that I’m one of the lucky ones.
Did You Know?
- On average, one month of diapers cost about $80.
- Of the 200,797 children under the age of 3 in Colorado, 17% live in families earning less than 100% of the federal poverty level.
- Most daycares do not accept babies in cloth diapers.
- 16% of SNAP recipients in Colorado are aged 5 and under.
- SNAP benefits cannot be used for diapers
- 23% of all WIC recipients in Colorado are infants.
- Most public laundry facilities in Colorado do not allow cloth diapers to be washed there for sanitary reasons.
- 41% of families in Colorado receiving TANF have children under the age of 3.
- TANF benefits often cover less than half the amount of rent.
- 43% of all births in Colorado are covered by Medicaid.
- Lack of sufficient diapers means parents do not have what they need to keep their babies healthy, clean, and dry.*
For all of these reasons, and so many more, I am so proud that Colorado Mountain Doulas is hosting the 2017 No Child Wet Behind Diaper Drive & 5K Family Fun Run. Every single diaper donated (including open packages) during this diaper drive goes directly to the Colorado Works Program of El Paso County, who will then put these diapers in the hands of parents in true crisis. All proceeds from the 5K event on May 21st will go directly to the national No Child Wet Behind 5013C, which is hosting 26 drives nationwide.
We hope that you will take the time to join us in this important cause. There are so many ways to participate.
- Stop by one of our Diaper Drop boxes and donate diapers.
- Register for the 5K race
- Become a sponsor
- Share this blog on social media using the buttons below.
- Like our page and invite your friends
- Come to the event and show your support, bring your friends and bring on the diapers!
Special Thanks to all of our 2017 sponsors!