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Hawaiʻi Diaper Bank
Hawaiʻi Diaper Bank
Hawaiʻi Diaper Bank
What started in 2016 from one mother's wish to share unused diapers which her infant son had outgrown, has quickly developed to collecting and distributing over 1.8 million donations to local children and families in need. The Hawaiʻi Diaper Bank (HDB) is the State’s first non-profit that collects and distributes diapers and other necessities which low and even middle-income families struggle to provide. In one of the most expensive States in the country and the only majority-AAPI State, Hawai'i Diaper Banks mission is to serve and support the keiki (children) of Hawaiʻi by providing diapers, wipes, and other basic essentials to families in need with young children. Since it’s grassroots beginnings in 2016 as a 100% volunteer run organization operating out of the founder’s home, the Hawaiʻi Diaper Bank has quickly grown to fill an important need in the community and now serves an average of over 500 keiki (children) per month. However, much more still needs to be done. Across Hawaiʻi, 1 in 3 children experience diaper need. The Hawaiʻi Diaper Bank works tirelessly towards a future where all children have access to diapers and other basics that are essential for their healthy development.
About the Organization:
$100,000 - $500,000
Diaper need, or the lack of diapers to keep an infant or toddler clean, dr y, and healthy, is a common issue for many families and has detrimental effects on both children and caregivers. One in three American families must choose between diapers or baby food. Unlike other necessities, there is no governmental assistance for purchasing diapers. The average low-income family spends about $1,000/year (up to 14% of net income for some) per child diapers. Diaper need is especially dire in Hawaii, the only AAPI-majority State in the country. According to the 2022 ALICE report, “The number of Hawai‘i households that are struggling to make ends meet hit a new high in 2022, at 44%. This includes households with income below the Federal Poverty Level as well as those who are ALICE – Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. ALICE households don’t earn enough to afford housing, childcare, food, transportation, health care, a smartphone plan, and taxes — the basics needed to live and work in the modern economy. Diaper need results in a variety of issues for infants and toddlers, as well as their parents. Families often discard stool and reuse disposable diapers “as long as they are dry,” and even delay diaper changes to “stretch” the use of the diaper. This can lead to diaper rash, Urinary Tract Infections (UTI’s) and other health issues. Furthermore, studies show that diaper need is more strongly correlated to maternal depression and stress than any other unmet basic needs. Additionally, purchasing diapers contributes to the cycle of poverty because most childcare centers require parents to provide their own diapers. Three of five parents skip work because they do not have enough diapers when dropping their children off at childcare or early education programs. The Hawaiʻi Diaper Bank helps address these issues by providing diapers, wipes, and other basic essentials to meet the immediate needs of children, parents, and families.
The Hawaiʻi Diaper Bank accomplishes their mission by collecting and distributing diapers, wipes, and other basic essentials to low-income families. Donations are collected directly from the local community through drives, events, and drop-off locations. Last fiscal year (2021-2022), the Hawaiʻi Diaper Bank coordinated 23 donation drives with Hawai‘i schools, hospitals, religious organizations, sports clubs, and businesses. Currently, the Hawaiʻi Diaper Bank has 22 drop-off locations located across Hawai‘i island, enabling members of the community to conveniently donate diapers and wipes, while also helping to elevate the Hawaiʻi Diaper Bank’s presence in the community. The Hawaiʻi Diaper Bank also manages an Amazon Wishlist to collect donations, allowing supporters to send much needed items essentials direct to their door. Diapers, wipes, and other basic essentials are also collected via low-cost bulk purchasing using grant funding and corporate donations. All donations are largely sorted, organized, and distributed by a passionate and dedicated group of volunteers. In fiscal year 2021-2022, volunteers contributed more than 935 hours to the Hawaiʻi Diaper Bank. These diaper donations are distributed to partner organizations (nonprofits/community-based organizations) that directly serve low-income families. The Hawai'i Diaper Bank’s distribution model of providing donations through a network of partners allows low-income families to access other resources and support within the community, resulting in a more holistic approach to service than one comprised of diaper donations alone. Hawai'i Diaper Bankpartners placemonthly orders for children’s items as needed. In addition, partners are also able to request Makana (gift) packs for special occasions such as birthdays, holidays, preschool graduations, and family reunifications. Hawai'i Diaper Banks Makana (gift) Pack Program is meant to celebrate the value of each keiki (child).These donations allow partners to focus on their ongoing and additional work with the peace of mind that the Hawaiʻi Diaper Bank can provideproducts needed by families in the community.