CHICAGO - This is National Diaper Need Awareness Week, as groups try to bring attention to what they consider a crisis. It's estimated one in three families don't have enough clean diapers to meet their child’s needs.
Tongta Fox decided to donate her child’s extra diapers Monday morning, knowing just how valuable they are.
"Diapers alone cost you probably like $50 dollars a month, that’s a lot of money," said Fox.
She wanted them to go to someone who doesn’t have that extra money so she donated to Share Our Spare. The Chicago organization hopes to fill up their Irving Park warehouse during National Diaper Need Awareness Week.
"It’s about making sure children have enough clean dry diapers to stay healthy. So they’re not sitting a dirty diaper causing rashes, UTI’s, and other medical issues," explains Alex Goodfellow, Executive Director of Share Our Spare.
This push is not just about getting diapers donated, but it’s also about changing laws so more families can afford to buy diapers.
"The crazy thing I found when I first started working here is I didn’t realize you cannot get diapers with food stamps so people are paying out of pocket, full price for diapers," she said.
Share Our Spare and other Illinois diaper banks have a coalition raising awareness and hoping for legislation to allow people to use government assistance to pay for this baby essential. Other states have eliminated the tax on diapers.
Alex Goodfellow says any help could keep families from making an agonizing decision.
"Do I put clean diapers on my child or do I get food on the table? You know, that’s not something we want parents to have to ask themselves," said Goodfellow.
Share Our Spare hopes to collect 250,000 diapers this week, with more than 60 donation sites in the city and suburbs. They have a goal of giving out 1.5 million diapers this year.