Junior League of Lincoln starts first Diaper Bank in city, at a time when need is higher than normal

The Center for People in Need has always distributed diapers, but now they'll be able to...
The Center for People in Need has always distributed diapers, but now they'll be able to provide them more consistently.(KOLN)
Published: Sep. 21, 2020 at 5:06 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Babies go through a lot of diapers every day which can add up to a lot of money.

Before the pandemic, it was estimated that more than 6,000 children in Lancaster County don’t have the diapers they need, and that was before the pandemic. The Center for People in Need said that need is likely greater now.

“People who before were surviving and making it are now having more difficulty making things work,” JoAnn Emerson, with the Center for People in Need said.

It’s why Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird announced this week Diaper Need Awareness week, and why the Junior League of Lincoln launched a new diaper bank Monday.

The Junior League of Lincoln is a non-profit run by female volunteers, and after two years of planning, the diaper bank is underway.

“We’re mothers, we have babies and understand how important diapers are,” Elizabeth Everett with the Junior League said. “They can cost families $70-80 a month, for most it may seem like a simple thing but it can leave a lasting impact.”

If babies don’t have diapers, it impacts so many parts of their families lives.

Emerson said not having clean diapers can cause health issues like rashes and skin infections. It can impact the parent’s mental health, causing stress on the whole family. Everett said it can also impact the family’s income.

“Nebraska ranks really high for working parents, we rank the first in the country for single mothers with kids under six,” Everett said. “Childcare programs don’t accept kids unless they have clean diapers, so for low income families who don’t have them they have to reuse old diapers, find another alternative, keep kids in unsafe environment or quit their jobs.”

The Junior League is hoping they’ll be able to help address these issues by raising awareness and gathering funds to buy diapers.

The Junior League will provide the money and diapers to two organizations to start, the Center for People in Need and Community Action. Then those organizations can distribute the diapers to their clients.

The Center, has always distributed diapers, but in the past has had to wait for donations or grants to get them.

“For our clients, this will mean we’ll have a consistent supply of all the sizes we need to serve all the young children and their parents,” Emerson said.

Eventually, the Junior League wants to provide diapers to more non-profits in the community.

To kick off the start of the diaper bank, the Junior League of Lincoln is holding a diaper drive.

You can buy diapers from their Amazon wishlist or make a monetary donation online.

They are in need of larger sizes of diapers currently and will accept wipes and diaper cream as well.

“The babies of Lincoln need this,” Emerson said. “It’s our job to protect the most vulnerable in our community and that’s our young children.”

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