Thank you for attending the April Accelerent Breakfast powered by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance.
I would like to thank my Accelerent Partners and their guests for embracing the Accelerent nonprofit initiative launched in January 2013. As a collective, we have made an impact in our community and have provided support to several local nonprofit organizations. At the breakfast in March we introduced the Big Brothers Big Sisters and encouraged you to support Bowl for Kids’ Sake by forming a bowling team. Today I want to shift your attention to HappyBottoms.
Happy Bottoms is Kansas City’s only diaper bank. In only its third year, HappyBottoms has grown from providing diapers to 148 children at 8 local partner agencies in April 2011 to providing diapers to 1,457 children at 22 local partner agencies in February 2014. Last year, HappyBottoms distributed 665,500 diapers to local children, 77% of which live at or below federal poverty level.
Based on 2012 poverty statistics, there are an estimated 17,000 children in the greater Kansas City metropolitan area who need diaper assistance. Diapers are not covered by any safety net program such as food stamps (SNAP) or Medicaid nor can they be purchased through WIC. As a mother of a two year old, I can attest to the fact that diapers are expensive costing $80-$100 per month! Low income families often cut back on food, utility bills, medical expenses and rent in an effort to afford products including diapers.
Cloth diapers, while considered environmentally and economically friendly, are not an option for many of the families served as they do not have access to a washer and dryer at home. Also, many laundromats do not allow cloth diapers to be washed in their machines. Additionally, day care centers don’t accept cloth diapers. Without childcare, parents cannot go to work consistently. Children who participate in early childhood education are 2.5 times more likely to go onto higher education.
Clean, dry diapers are important to the health and well-being of growing babies. If a family can’t afford diapers, a baby will spend extended periods, sometimes days, in the same soiled diaper. This amplifies the risk of numerous health problems, including skin and urinary tract infections. Unhappy babies are crying babies. Crying babies are more likely to be abused by already stressed-out caregivers.
The demand for diapers still outweighs supply with a “wait list” of 30 agencies with over 2,200 children. Today I ask that you Make a Difference for Mother’s Day an participate in the Mother’s Day Diaper Drive. On May 9th and 10th, four Price Chopper stores strategically located throughout the city will be encouraging people to donate diapers or dollars to HappyBottoms in honor of their own mother for Mother’s Day! Not only will you help babies in need and support a mother in need, but you can also do it in honor of your own mother or a special woman in your life. Thank you for helping HappyBottoms with their mission to work with partners to provide diapers to low income families through donations, both financial and in-kind while raising awareness of the need for diapers. My team and I look forward to seeing you at a future Accelerent event.
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