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Discussion Starter #1
I saw a brief news piece on a website called babybuggy.org. Their mission statement:<br>
"Baby Buggy is a non-profit organization, dedicated to collecting and redistributing infant gear and clothing to families in need."<br><br>
They seem to have recently branched out into providing diapers for those in need as well. While I fully support this sort of good deed, I'm more than a little distressed that the focus appears to be entirely on disposables. It seems to me that such an organization would embrace cloth diapering, at the very least for it's cost effective nature. Another thing is that they're sponsored by Balmex, so I wonder if that has anything to do with it, based on what I've read about the incidence of diaper rash in CD'ed babes.<br><br>
I don't know if this has been previously addressed here, but I couldn't find anything doing a search. I've written an email ([email protected]) but haven't gotten a response yet.<br><br>
Anyway, I thought this might be of interest to some here, and I'd love to hear any thoughts on the matter.<br><br>
Thanks for reading!<br><br>
-Sarah
 

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The first thought that comes to mind for me is lack of laundering facilities. In all my years of volunteering with families in various inner-cities around the country, I've noticed that not many of these families have on-site washers and dryers. Now while we all know that you can launder CDs at a laundromat or even in a bathtub, many other people don't realize that.<br><br>
In working for a number of years with families in need, I have seen an overall trend to making life as easy as possible for the families. Not saying that this is right or wrong...but I'm guessing that's the intent here as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your response, Gemanda!<br><br>
That thought occurred to me as well...the ease of the matter. I'm lucky enough to have reliable and easy access to a washer/dryer of my own so I don't know exactly what I would do if that were not the case. I still kind of feel like the option should be out there though. I do know that CD'ing seemed like a huge hassle to me when I first thought of doing it, but those fears have lessened the more I've learned. But like I said, I am able to wash/dry without the added stress of a laundromat.<br><br>
I guess I'm just surprised that it's not even a choice, but I may be working from my own privileged bias. I would bet though, that many mamas originally came to CD'ing because of financial issues, at least I did, and I just thought I'd put it out there.
 

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I agree 100%...there's no way you can deny that CDs are cheaper! There are many, many CDing mamas who are in it for the cost.<br><br>
I was just relaying some of my own experience with the types of families that this program seems to be targeting. While I find speaking in generalizations completely wrong as a practice, my concern would be as above.<br><br>
Looking at the organization's website, it appears as if this program is currently involved with families in NYC. Having lived in a large East Coast city for a number of years and working with the inner-city and impoverished population, I can 100% say that virtually none of those families have laundering facilities. And, sadly, many of the people with whom I worked (speaking for those people, not all people) wouldn't have bothered with taking diapers to a laundromat. And honestly, I can't blame them 100%. Many times, you're walking 4-8 blocks with 2-3 kids in tow to get to a laundromat...make it the summer with 90+ degree heat and 85% humidity, and bringing along a 10-20 pound bag of dirty diapers doesn't sound appealing. Add in the $3-5 to wash them at the laundromat...that's $3-5 that the family doesn't have.<br><br>
So no...I don't think it's because of the affiliation with Balmex. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Honestly, I think that it's just a case of an organization trying to help families and knowing how these families live on a day-to-day basis.
 

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I saw an interview about this organization on the Today show last week sometime- the founder is the wife of some actor (though I cannot for the life of me remember who). The way I understood it was that they are only collecting diapers for a certain time- like a diaper drive- then next year they will try to collect a bunch of something else. I think they said they were trying to collect 1 million diapers- I kept thinking about a million more sposies for the landfills... What gets me about organizations like that is-while I realize they are trying to ease the financial burden for those in need- why don't they educate these people about bf and cd which absolutely save money? Instead they provide them with the "easy" yet more expensive option for a short time. Doesn't that fall in to the "feed a man a fish he has dinner for a day, teach a man to fish he has dinner for life" kind of thing?! B.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Okay, I think I'm right there with you on all of this. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I suppose I'm far too much of an idealist, always been a stumbling block for me!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>luvmykidz</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think they said they were trying to collect 1 million diapers- I kept thinking about a million more sposies for the landfills...<br><br>
Doesn't that fall in to the "feed a man a fish he has dinner for a day, teach a man to fish he has dinner for life" kind of thing?! B.</div>
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It was their goal of 1 million diapers that sort of dropped my jaw as well. Big mental image of all that garbage. It is great that they are doing what they can for so many families in need, I don't want to sound like I believe otherwise, but it was a little disturbing to me.<br><br>
I also had those same thought about education and providing for the future. The thing that bothers me most of all is that this group is in a position to get the info out to tons of people, whether it's those receiving donations, or those making them. I dunno. At this rate, when the diaper program is over, those mamas will be in the same place, instead of being armed with information that they might be able to make work for them at a greatly reduced cost.<br><br>
Then again, I have to wonder if I'm just too blinded by the true luck/blessings of having a fairly comfy life. Sigh.
 

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I don't mean to sound like I'm making excuses for the organization...if it were me, yes, I would definitely go the education front. I would definitely try to share why cloth diapers are better, less expensive, etc.<br><br>
But as much of an optimist as I am, I also am a realist. I've worked with people like this. Sometimes, education just really isn't going to work. Can you (general you, here) honestly tell me that you would carry 3-4 days worth of used prefolds (since cost is the driving factor) a half a mile in summer heat and humidity or a foot of snow while trying to corral your kids and worry about whether or not you're going to be able to put dinner on the table? And when dinner is the concern for the evening, how far into your pocket do you have to reach for $5 in quarters for the machines? Or $10 for a week's worth?<br><br>
Are CDs cheaper? Absolutely. But if you have to shell out $10/week on washing them vs. getting disposables given to you, $10 can go a heckuva long way...most of these families eat for 2-3 days on less than $10.
 

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ITA that this organization is doing something wonderful for families in need! And the laundry issue is certainly a valid point, it's just hard when you see things about providing for families when you know the education is not there. Programs like WIC provide free formula, and while I know some states are better than others about things like bf education, but if you are provided something for free i think you are less likely to use the cheaper/free alternative. The interviewee mentioned that her clients are at times having to choose between diapers or food ,which is so hard to hear knowing that cloth could possibly ease their financial burden. One thing I did think was great about this program was that they will come to your home to pick up whatever donations you have (including big things like cribs), making it easier to insure that the items get where they need to go. I don't know- I guess there is no easy answer. B.<br>
BTW this is not a national organization- I think it was only in NY?
 

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I agree with germenda<br><br>
Places like inner city when you are talking about a TRUE need (an no offence to ANYONE, I am not talking about some people who get down on their luck and decide to go to the food bank rather than cut off their tv cable) there just isnt another way. Education would be ideal, but sometimes this is further than the actual organization can go. Public housing isnt exactly the hilton.<br><br>
I do agree that education on breastfeeding (and *cough birthcontrol*) would be wise, but the organization is there to help the babies and a specific need... not to change people.
 

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It appears to be only in NYC, yes.<br><br>
And my point is would cloth really help with the choice between diapers or food? For purchase price, probably it would. But for many of these families, the care of washing cloth would be just as much of a burden as buying sposies. $10 a week for the laundromat is a ton of money for people in this situation.<br><br>
Again, I want to reiterate that I believe in cloth 100% and think it's wonderful. But after working with people in situations like this, I'm really not sure cloth is the answer for them.<br><br>
Thanks Aherne!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Just got this email in response:<br><br>
Dear Sarah,<br><br>
Thank you for your email. In response to your email and other concerned potential supporters I am writing to give<br>
you feedback on your suggestion. Before launching the this drive we polled the social service agencies we work<br>
with regarding the practicality of offering cloth diapers to their clients. What we found was, since many of the<br>
women that we help live in cramped spaces, trying to make doctor's appointments, public assistance appointments,<br>
trying to find a job, (or get job training) and trying to get their children to school, that it would be difficult<br>
for them to find the time to wash the cloth diapers on a regular basis. We hope that many of these women once they<br>
have come out of their crisis situation will choose to use cloth diapers. We appreciate your interest and input in<br>
the work that we are doing.<br><br>
Sincerely,<br><br>
Erin Berger<br><br>
Seems reasonable and respectable and I can see why they're choosing what they are. It's painful and hard for me to imagine the things that so many families have to go through. Wishful thinking on my part I suppose, that things can be different.
 

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Yeah, maybe they cannot afford a laundromat....<br><br>
I was irked recently. There were sextuplets born in my town, and I went to a local drop off place to donate baby stuff for them, and they said "No cloth, only disposables."
 

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Thanks for posting their response, Sarah! It completely makes sense.<br><br>
Unfortunately, cloth just isn't a viable option for some people for a number of very legitimate reasons. I too wish the world wasn't like this, but sadly, it is.
 

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I like how she said that she hopes they choose to use cloth once they can... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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but your six little butts I'd be using cloth if I had six little butts to diaper.<br><br>
I think they did a drive out here for someone having quintuplets. They had enough diapers to fill a whole storage unit <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/disappointed.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="disappointed">
 

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I think that what that organization is looking at and trying to do is perfectly reasonable. It is NOT reasonable for us to expect these mothers to use cloth in their current situation, for all the reasons listed above; it is reasonable to hope that they will consider it when things are better. It is also atrocious to judge a mother of SIX newborns for using disposables, for crying out loud; please let's not get quite that far up on our high horses about the evils of sposies <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> .
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I didn't mean for this discussion to get out of hand..sorry if I've gotten things started, it's all coming from concern and care about the sustainability of what this program is starting.<br><br>
And in all fairness, I'm not expecting anyone to choose cloth, as I know there are difficulties involved, some that can't be gotten around. I just thought it would be nice if there were an option/education/resources for those who could use it.
 
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