Making a difference: Junior League of New Orleans Diaper Bank
“Helping families from the bottom up”
It is a distant memory now, but not too long ago baby paraphernalia – including an overwhelming numbers of diapers – monopolized my life. Diapers were sprinkled throughout every room in our house, stuffed in my purse, in the center console of our cars, in the jogging stroller and anywhere our brigade of babies roamed pre-potty training. Diapers were a necessity I fortunately never had to wonder if we could provide.
Sadly, many mothers must choose between diapering and feeding their child; not being able to go to work or school because they lack diapers to send with their child to day care; or having to make their child spend from dawn to dusk in the same diaper because there isn’t money to buy the eight to 10 diapers needed daily.
Without diapers, children and their caregivers face negative physical, mental and economic impacts, including health risks like rashes and urinary tract infections as well as mental problems such as stress, anxiety and depression. Inspired by this harsh reality, the Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO) founded its Diaper Bank to support New Orleans families.
In its 96-year history, the JLNO has played a vibrant role in New Orleans, investing millions of dollars and massive volunteer hours through impactful initiatives and community partnerships. Leveraging the strength of their membership of more than 2,100, JLNO’s Diaper Bank program works to raise community awareness of the “diaper need,” host diaper drives, buy diapers at a highly discounted rate and provide volunteer support for sorting, packing, distributing and storing diapers at their Elmwood facility. A whopping 1 million free diapers are distributed annually through Diaper Bank community distribution partners. Following two spring COVID-19 diaper distributions and upon seeing a marked increase in requests from community partners, the Diaper Bank will continue to focus on meeting growing needs, including expansion to provide adult diapers later this year and highlighting National Diaper Need Awareness week September 21-27.
Although funding remains their greatest need, there are other ways anyone can help:
• Donate Diapers. Drop-off disposable diapers of any size, including open packages, at JLNO Headquarters on Tuesdays, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
• Purchase from the JLNO Amazon Wish List. Visit Amazon.com and search for “Junior League of New Orleans Diaper Bank” to buy and ship diapers directly to JLNO.
• Donate “Dollars for Diapers.” Make a financial contribution on the JLNO website or by mail to JLNO Headquarters.
• Host a Diaper Drive. Motivate your school, business, church or social group to collect and purchase diapers.
• Share Information. Use social media to share facts found at firstname.lastname@example.org about diaper need and raise our community’s awareness.
• Volunteer. While the Diaper Bank is run by JLNO members, they often love meeting and having help from the public. Complete the form on the JLNO website to indicate your volunteer interest.
“Despite the fact that one in every three families reports struggling to provide clean diapers for their young children, it’s an often overlooked problem facing low-income families. None of the government safety-net programs address this need and the JLNO Diaper Bank is the only resource to assist with diaper need specifically in the New Orleans area”, shares JLNO President Kristin Van Hook Moore.
The JLNO is committed to helping solve the larger, systemic problems facing Metropolitan New Orleans women, children and families and through the Diaper Bank is elevating the entire community – from the bottom up.