Cradles to Crayons handing out 500K diapers to groups who work with Chicago families

A large diaper distribution effort was centered in Chicago's North Side Wednesday, sending diapers to families in need across the Chicagoland area

Outside the non-profit, Cradles to Crayons, in North Center, pallets loaded with diaper boxes were stacked outside. 

They planned to give away 500,000 diapers Wednesday alone, which will only dent the demand.

"On average, a family needs 50 diapers to last for two weeks. So if you think about 500,000 diapers that we're distributing today, that's just going last for two weeks for 10,000 kids, and there are tens of thousands of kids across Chicago who need diapers," said Bernard Cherkasov, Interim Executive Director at C2C Chicago and National Chief Operating Officer.

Cherkasov says they've seen the need for diapers grow 300% the past 2 years. 

This month, they'll give 1.5 million diapers to about 70 partner organizations, such as shelters, new moms and dads groups and other child welfare organizations. 

A woman picking up diapers for a pop-up pantry at a church in Austin said, "Almost the very first thing to go are the diapers. There’s such a need."


And as anyone who’s cared for a baby or toddler knows, diapers are both necessary and pricey. 

Making the situation even worse these days is inflation, which is leaving more families to make tough choices.

"Right now when the cost of basic goods is going up, parents are really making tough choices between being able to buy food or pay for basic essentials or buy diapers for their kids. In Chicago, every third child lives in poverty and is at risk of not having access to diapers to keep the kids healthy and safe with such a critical need," said Cherkasov.

Cherkasov says they're desperate for more donations of diapers, plus clothing, hygiene products, school supplies and books.  

When people drop donations, the team at Cradles to Crayons rushes to get them ready, knowing so many children around Chicago need the help.