Central New York, Community, Health, Poverty, Syracuse

Diaper Donations Are Needed, Especially During the Holiday Season

The CNY Diaper Bank collects diapers to give to needy families year-round. Some local groups are collecting diapers for the organization during the holiday season. (c) 2017 Mary Peters

By Mary Peters SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – The CNY Diaper Bank donates diapers to families in need.  According to the diaper bank, almost 50 percent of children in Syracuse live in poverty.

“I was on call one night and had a mom call and say, ‘My child has a stomach bug and we’ve gone through all of our diaper supply for the month in a couple of days because I’m having to change him so often.  He’s in a plastic bag.  What do I do?'” said Winter Berry, a pediatrician at Upstate Pediatric Clinic.

The Diaper Bank is able to get a diaper for about 13 cents when they buy in bulk.  If families are relying on government assistance, they are not allowed to spend that money on diapers.  Most families go through six to 10 diapers per day.  According to the CNY Diaper Bank, diapers cost about one hundred dollars each month per child.

“So they’re going to corner stores and spending $10 on 20 diapers, which is totally expensive.  So they spend more per diaper than families who are able to buy in bulk,” said Michela Hugo, the President and Founder of the CNY Diaper Bank.

She noticed that there was a need for diapers in Syracuse and no agency provided diapers.  She wanted to change this.

In May 2016, Hugo gave about 6,000 diapers to six agencies the first month.  Now, she is donating about 30,000 to 15 agencies each month.

Local groups in Syracuse donate year-round, but some groups donate during the holidays.

Lori Wike, a speech-language pathologist, has collected 3,600 diapers so far.  She has clients who need them.

“She buys the same size diapers for all of her kids because she can’t afford every single different size that her kids need to wear.  So, that’s why I’m doing it,” said Wike.

She’s always thinking of the young kids that she works with.

“Kids in our toddler group that didn’t come to group that day because the mom said I didn’t have enough diapers for the kid.  That’s just heartbreaking because nobody should have to go without diapers,” said Wike.

“Every month my cupboards are empty of diapers by the time we come back to pick up,” said Berry.

Wike is collecting donations until December 16 through the company that she works for, Liberty Post, but the CNY Diaper Drive is always looking for volunteers and donations.

The diapers that Wike has collected so far. (c) 2017 Mary Peters