diaper drive

Diaper Donation Drive to Support Refugee Families Resettling in San Diego

Written by Anna Choi, BS, IBCLC

When you think of having a baby, and the items that are an absolute MUST have, diapers are pretty close to the top of the list, second only to breastmilk or formula. Whether you choose to cloth diaper or use disposable diapers, you need something to cover that sweet baby’s bum! For families on a limited or fixed income, the cost of diapers can be very overwhelming. Since part of our mission at the San Diego Breastfeeding Center is to give back to our community, while working to grow a strong network of support for families in San Diego, we are excited to announce the details for our next diaper drive!

This year’s diaper drive will support refugee families who have resettled in San Diego, with diapers going to three organizations who make a hugely positive impact on the lives of refugee families: The International Rescue Committee of San Diego, The Syrian Community Network of San Diego, and Catholic Charities of San Diego. Having fled war, persecution, and poverty, these families need our support more than ever. During our last diaper drive, we collected more than 3,000 diapers for San Diego refugee families. This year, our goal is to collect 5,000 diapers! Our diaper drive will begin on Wednesday, April 3rd and end on Wednesday, May 1st.

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To tell you a little more about the refugee families that will receive these diapers, here are a few words from Chris Williams, a Program Manager for Refugee Services in San Diego:

“We are currently working with a number of Haitian families that have recently arrived in San Diego and are in a very difficult situation. Haiti is often described as the poorest country in the western world, with more than half of the entire population living below the poverty line and a quarter living in extreme poverty - surviving on less than $1.25 per day. This, on top of devastating natural disasters over the past decade, has caused many Haitians to flee their homes in search of a better life.

The relatively few families that make it to San Diego typically only get here after years spent living in similarly bad conditions in South and/or Central America and have often been victimized by human traffickers and other malicious actors. They are granted admission to the U.S. on humanitarian grounds, and in the past they have been offered a limited amount of government support along with work authorization to help them get on their feet here. In recent months, the government stopped providing this support and stopped providing new families with the documents they need to work - which is unfortunate, because all of them want to work.

This leaves the families in a precarious situation, and many of them are staying in church shelters. They don't have access to public benefits like food stamps and Medi-Cal, though many of the women are pregnant or have recently given birth. We are working to support these families - and these babies - in a number of ways, though a great deal of help is still needed. Diapers aren't cheap and are always in short supply, though always very much needed.”

Having met many refugee families and spoken with resettlement workers, I can’t tell you enough how much these donations are appreciated and needed. All donations can be dropped off at our weekly Breastfeeding Support Group, held at our office in La Mesa {8325 University Ave La Mesa 91942}, every Wednesday from 11:30am-1pm. If you would like to donate diapers, but are unable to drop off during that time, please contact Anna Choi to schedule a drop off. We hope you will help us reach our goal and stand with us as we support the refugee women and mothers in our local community.