by Iain Gordon
If it weren't for the Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona, we'd all be in deep doody.
On Tuesday, Sept. 17, the Pima County Board of Supervisors declared the week of Sept. 15-21 to be “Diaper Need Awareness Week” in honor of the Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona. That doesn't mean the awareness should end tomorrow.
The DBSA’s efforts help to distribute over half a million diapers annually to those in need across the Southern Arizonan community. On top of that, our own DBSA was the very first diaper bank to exist in the nation. How often do we get to be first here in the desert state? 'Zona!
“Right now we are distributing 600,000 diapers per year (and) 80 percent of clients served are at or below poverty level,” said DBSA Executive Director Lindsey Jones, who was excited to see the bank garnering some attention with the help of the Board of Supervisors.
The bank is committed to growth; the goal, according to Jones, is as many as 1.5 million diapers distributed annually. She estimates the need for Southern Arizona to be as high as two million diapers per year.
Say a baby is born in Pima County right now. That baby has a one-in-three chance of being born into poverty. That baby will need six to ten diapers daily regardless of his or her financial situation. That’s somewhere around $100 a month, which is not always within reach for local low income families. If babies can't score a job part-time to make ends meet, he may just be SOL.
Infants aren't the only ones relying on the services of the DBSA. Of all the diapers collected and distributed by the DBSA, 25 percent go toward adult incontinence needs. According to the National Association for Continence, over half of all nursing home residents are incontinent.
“[It’s] fulfilling such a concrete need,” said Claudette Langley, DBSA Outreach and Marketing Coordinator. To many seniors in the community, diapers are a matter of dignity and the ability to lead a normal life.
But thanks to the DBSA, hundreds of thousands of infants, seniors and those in need are being served every day. This week is all about them, what they do, and the people they help.
For more information, to volunteer, or to simply show some love and support, click here to visit the Bank's personal website.