Little Hands for Diaper Need

Little Hands for Diaper Need


This spring, my son went through one of the new Little Helping Hands tracks programs aimed at grades 3-5. The program combines age-appropriate education with a series of activities exploring different aspects of a single issue facing Austin – in this case, poverty. Luckily, 9 year olds can’t drive so this was also a pretty formative experience for the parents as well. We found a major difference between volunteering once or twice a month at a smattering of different agencies (takeaway: “we volunteered”) vs. thematic volunteering around a greater topic (takeaway “poverty impacts fellow Austinites in a huge number of ways…”).

Perhaps the biggest shock of this experience was that when it came time to chose an independent extension project, my son chose the Austin Diaper Bank – not a part of this track of volunteer exercises and seemingly less appealing to a 9 year old than the microhomes of Community First Village or direct service of a food pantry. In the end, we realized my son’s attraction was that other people weren’t focused on this issue and that it is simple:

  1. There are babies in need right here in Travis County
  2. Government assistance doesn’t cover diapers, so
  3. We need to help bridge the gap for parents who are making hard choices between things like hygiene and lights

My husband and I have been very interested in the ADB as years ago at Ogilvy I had been staffed on creating a CSR project focused on diaper need. Through that experience, I had met a number of independent diaper bank founders and been inspired by their relentless pursuit of shedding light on this issue and helping mothers in need. As such, I have been a relatively regular volunteer at ADB with my son and he knew their story. The project he chose was one to help the ADB both with funds and in raising awareness – it grew from there.

He wanted to raise money at a the equivalent of a “lemonade stand” to take advantage of the hikers who come to our neighborhood to go down the Hill of Life. Over the course of a few weekends, he raised money, but had the opportunity to have dozens of conversations about WHY he was raising money for the diaper bank and why it exists.

From there, I sent out a post on Facebook that we’d be collecting diapers. I assumed people would stop by with open packs of diapers for us to take to the bank. However, in the world of Amazon, we were shocked to see diapers arriving at our door almost daily from all over the country. Co-workers at Spredfast leaned in to donate as well. By the end of the project Fletcher had collected $228 and 2,689 diapers to help fill some of the most in demand shelves of the bank. We finished by gathering friends and family to inventory, wrap and shelve the diapers so they would be ready to go out to local agencies.

Fletcher was proud of his work and my husband and I were shocked to realize the impact of putting just a little focus, effort and time against an issue. This will not be the last time we set our sights on improving our community.


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