When people are united by a good cause, everything else seems to fall into place. Or at least that’s what happened for Mikey Sorboro (of Mikey’s Late Night Slice), Rachael Moore and Judy Marsh when they founded the Columbus Diaper Bank. After a series of strangely synchronistic events, Moore, Marsh and Sorboro formed a diaper dream team to make life a little easier for Central Ohio mothers. After a successful fundraiser and an outpouring of community support, the group is poised to make social change a reality, one baby at a time.
Judy: You’d think at least one social program or safety net would cover diapers. They don’t. I read an article about stressors to mothers, and the researchers seemed surprised that diapers caused so much stress for moms. There were instances of mothers re-using diapers simply because they only had one for the day. Besides the obvious negative effects for the child, think about the ripple effect something like this would have on the whole family. I have a child in diapers at home, and I can’t imagine having to re-use a diaper. I mean, kids that age cry enough already.
Rachael: The DC Diaper Bank actually got us all in touch. I heard a story about diapers being a problem for mothers on NPR, and I wanted to help. I had been working as the director of an after-school program at a church, but due to lack of funding my position got cut. I remembered so many people needing diapers while I worked there, and since I had all this free time, I wanted to do something. When I reached out to the DC Diaper Bank, they put me in contact with Judy, who had also reached out to them.
Mikey: I had no idea you couldn’t drop kids off at daycare if you don’t have enough diapers for them. When you think about that, it can come down to a mom losing her job because she can’t drop her kids off because she doesn’t have enough diapers to send with them. I mean, the difference between providing for your family or not can come down to 6-8 diapers. People don’t realize things like that. Every person we’ve talked to about the diaper drive seems just as surprised as we are that there isn’t any coverage for diapers. Luckily, they all are just as eager to do something about it as well.
Rachael: Our first fundraiser was a huge success. We had more than 100 people come and donate tons of diapers and nearly $4,000. I had friends come up to me with diaper donations who were so surprised at the cost. We are going to hold a “stuff the truck” fundraiser at the May Gallery Hop, and we are currently accepting donations at Woodlands Tavern, Ledo’s and the Short North Shack. Once we hit $7,500 (which, we are pretty close) we are going to do one bulk purchase and get the diapers to the right outlets for distribution.
Judy: We are working with the Ohio Food Bank to make sure our dollar stretches. Their buying power and distribution network are already really strong, so rather than building our own, we are going to work with them to get the diapers where they need to go, and make sure our donation money goes as far as it can. The Ohio Food Bank can buy diapers at serious discount, and we want to get as many diapers to as many mothers as we can. If we can help a mom save money on this one necessity for her children, we are happy.
Mikey: The end goal is to put ourselves out of a job. Right now we want to essentially stop the bleeding, and get the diapers to the mothers who need them. But after we bridge that gap, we want to work toward advocacy and remedy this problem in the system so we don’t have to do this anymore. Hopefully one day we can make that all happen.
Photo by Tim Johnson