Last week, to celebrate the Week of the Young Child, our preschool classes were encouraged to donate diapers for Father Jim Swarthout, a local priest and member of Rotary Club of Crystal Lake Dawnbreakers. He is known as “Father Jim, the Diaper Priest”. The diapers for his St. Paul Diaper Bank help families who are not able to afford diapers, as government aid doesn’t cover diaper products, so many families have trouble keeping their babies in clean, fresh diapers.
At the diaper bank, diapers are not distributed directly to individuals; instead they are collected, stored and distributed to partner agencies who have already identified the people in need and gone through the paperwork.
Here are a few diaper facts from Father Jim:
- Everyday 2,692 babies are born into poverty in America.
- A healthy change of diapers costs $100/month or more for all ages.
- Full-time work at minimum wage grosses $825/month.
- Food Stamps, Link, WIC, public aid, and Medicare do not cover diaper expenses.
- Cloth diapers are not an option– Childcare centers require parents to leave disposable diapers with their child. Many poor households do not have washing machines.
- An average infant can use up to 12 diapers per day; an average toddler can use up to 8 per day.
- A child will go through thousands of diapers in his/her lifetime.
Visit www.stpaulmchenry.com for information and guidelines on how to start a diaper bank in your community.