A local diaper drive is rolling along with car dealerships, schools and other entities joining the cause.
And a local agency hopes to let more families know about the available diapers.
In November, a project was launched in an effort to help end what could be a smelly problem for families — a huge need for diapers.
The project is called, “52 Weeks of Diapers — Helping Little Behinds Get a Little Ahead.”
With this program, churches, clubs, schools, businesses and community organizations are being asked to adopt one week this year to host a diaper drive, said Nan Cunningham, a Kiwanis Club member in Fremont.
Each organization that signs up can create a drive that could involve competitions between local banks, classes within a school system, real estate or other companies or even departments in the same business.
The goal is to get 1 million diapers.
As of Thursday, 22,282 diapers, $416 in monetary donations and seven packages of wipes had been collected, said Carie Schmidt, Sixpence coordinator.
The donors included: Methodist Fremont Health; Dodge County Courthouse employees; Grant Elementary School teachers, students and staff; Diers Ford; Sid Dillon; community service agencies and non-profits during a baby shower hosted by Good Neighbor and Lutheran Family Services; and also community members after a Fremont Tribune article.
Diers Ford alone collected more than 11,000 of those diapers.
Cunningham said on Friday that 5,300 diapers were collected from Trinity Lutheran School and 1,033 from Clarmar Elementary School in Fremont.
Businesses, schools, groups and other would-be donors, who’d like to participate may contact Schmidt at email@example.com or call Cunningham at 402-720-3498.
In January, Schmidt and Cunningham talked about the need for diapers in the community.
Schmidt said national statistics indicate one of every three families struggle to provide their little ones with enough diapers for the month.
That would mean more than 600 children in Fremont don’t have the diapers they need, according to these statistics and Fremont’s population of children ages 0 to 5, published in the 2016 Community Well-Being Data Report by the Fremont Area United Way.
On average, disposable diapers cost about $150 a month, which means families may be forgoing money to pay bills and buy groceries, Schmidt said.
Many daycares will only accept disposable diapers, so families can be missing out on work and school because they don’t have enough diapers to send with their little ones.
Schmidt said another statistic indicates three out of five families struggling to have enough diapers are missing school or work because they don’t have enough to send them to daycare.
Some may wonder why economically challenged families don’t opt for cloth diapers, but Schmidt said it costs — on average — $1,200 to get everything needed to start with cloth diapers.
Also, there’s a trend with the area’s low-income families, who struggle with laundering.
“They don’t have a unit in their house to wash clothes or struggle with money to pay at the laundry mat or the transportation to get to the laundry mat, especially in the winter when they can’t walk,” Schmidt said.
Family members could lose employment, because they can’t send their children to daycare without the diapers.
Other factors — such as an unexpected financial hardship or family crisis — could lead to the need for diapers.
Schmidt had some good news this week.
“We have already served families within Fremont and also some surrounding communities,” she said.
Cunningham also said that earlier this week, a dad was able to get emergency diapers for his three children.
In the process, he was happy to learn about other resources that could help his family.
“It was really a heart-warming day,” Cunningham said.
The women want to get the word out to more families about accessing the diaper bank.
Anyone in need of diapers can call the Sixpence office at 402-727-0496 and request an appointment for the diaper bank. There are no pre-qualifications necessary.
“We are serving any family who expresses a need,” Schmidt said.