Mayor Neal Roop and Master Deputy Brian Colussy host a CarrollBaby bin at the New Windsor Town Hall.
Mayor Neal Roop and Master Deputy Brian Colussy host a CarrollBaby bin at the New Windsor Town Hall. (Courtesy Photo)

Unless you’re changing diapers regularly, you’re probably not thinking about diapers. A baby needs 6-12 diapers each day — and they’re not cheap. The average cost of disposable diapers ranges $70-$80 per month per child.

Cloth diapers are an option for some families, but most childcare centers do not accept cloth diapers, and the upfront cost is often a barrier for low-income families. According to the most recent data from The Annie E. Casey Foundation, there are 2,015 children in Carroll County living in poverty and 6,230 living below 200 percent of poverty, meaning their households operate on a survival budget and do not earn enough to afford basic necessities.

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Many people are surprised to learn that diapers are not covered by WIC or SNAP (food stamps). When families struggle to afford the cost of diapers, they often resort to stretching their supply, leaving babies in soiled diapers for longer periods of time. This means more babies are left vulnerable to painful rashes and bacterial infections.

CarrollBaby was founded this spring to provide an emergency supply of diapers, wipes and baby hygiene items to local families in need. Diapers are donated and inventoried and then distributed through community partner agencies. Families that are enrolled and actively participating in early childhood programs and parenting workshops are eligible to receive 50 diapers per child per month along with wipes and diaper cream. If a family in need is not already participating in programs and workshops, diapers can serve as a gateway resource to help connect them to additional services.

Westminster Downtown Yoga and Local Homestead Products have hosted diaper drives to support the mission of CarrollBaby and there are several diaper donation bins at drop-sites throughout the county. Drop-sites have proven to be a convenient way for Carroll residents to donate leftover diapers their children or grandchildren have outgrown.

Founding sponsor Westminster Dermatology contributed the funds needed to purchase the first 20 donation bins. Additional start-up support has been provided by St. Luke’s (Winters) Lutheran Church in New Windsor as well as a grant from Thrivent Financial.

Recently, CarrollBaby created a fund with the Community Foundation of Carroll County in order to maximize the current and longterm impact of its work in the community. As an all-volunteer based organization, CarrollBaby is powered by support from individuals and corporations to help stabilize and strengthen families in our community. All funds donated will help ensure that more babies in our community are clean, healthy and dry. Every baby deserves the best start in life; let’s start with the basics.

For a list of diaper drop sites, please visit CarrollBaby.org.

Lauren Bukszar, a mother of two young children and life-long resident of Carroll County, is the founder of CarrollBaby.

Each Monday, the Carroll County Times publishes a column from a local nonprofit, allowing them to share information about their organization and the issues facing it. To be considered, email cctnews@carrollcountytimes.com with the subject line “Nonprofit View.”

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