The DFW Cloth Diaper Project was started in August of this year. Brenda had been in a grocery line behind a girl who had to make a hard decision. The girl didn't have enough money for both the pack of disposable diapers and the food that she had in her cart. Around that same time, we started hearing stories of families who were reusing disposable diapers.
It's rough out there, and a lot of families are struggling. Mine included. My husband was a financial advisor who was hit incredibly hard. We realized early this year that we actually met the income requirements for WIC. That's since changed, but at the time I had never been so thankful for cloth diapers. If we didn't use cloth, I don't know how we would have been able to afford diapers. We were just stretched too thin. So when Brenda asked me to join her in starting up The Project, I jumped on it.
We rely on donations of diapers in order to lend them out to local families (within a 50 mile radius of DFW airport). Our applicants must meet certain income eligibility requirements in order to receive diapers from us. We meet with them personally to discuss the care and use of the diapers. We hope that by meeting with them in person and being readily available to answer any questions that may come up, we will give them a better chance of succeeding with cloth. We're currently raising funds to become a 501c3 and also to fill in the holes in our inventory.
I've talked about Brenda, who is our chairperson. I'm Lori, treasurer and social media marketing guru. We also have Tara (fundraiser extraordinaire), Elise (application queen), Ryley (marketing master), Natalie (diaper doctor), and Nadine (jack of all trades). We are all very different moms with two things in common - a love for cloth diapers and a desire to help moms in our community.
There are so many reasons to fall in love with cloth diapers! Here are a few of my favorite benefits of cloth diapering:
Reason #1: Cloth Diapers Save You Money!
On average, disposable diapers cost $2,000 - $3,000 per child from birth to potty training. On average, cloth diapers can cost anywhere from $100 - $400 birth to potty training, depending on the types of cloth diapers you use. If you use the same cloth diapers for multiple children, the savings are even more!
Reason #2: Cloth Diapers are Better for Baby!
Babies who wear cloth diapers have fewer diaper rashes than those in disposables. Disposable diapers are full of plastics and chemicals (dioxin, sodium polyacrylate, dyes, fragrances, toluene, xylene, ethylbenzene, and dipentene), all of which can potentially be harmful to young babies whose immune systems are not fully developed. When a child wears cloth diapers, they are not exposed to all of these harsh chemicals. If your child is prone to rashes, has sensitive skin, or eczema, then cloth diapers are a great option for you!
Reason #3: Cloth Diapers are Better for the Environment!
Some sources say that just one disposable diaper can take up to 500 years to fully decompose in a landfill. One child might go through approximately 6,600 diapers in just the first 2 years. If you have 2 children in disposable diapers, that is at least 13,200 disposable diapers in a landfill from your household alone that will still be around when your grandchildren become grandparents. Reusable cloth diapers do require washing, which takes up more water and energy to wash. But that does not compare to the resources and raw materials needed to make, distribute, use, and dispose of disposable diapers. By using cloth diapers, you have the potential to cut your household waste in half (if not more).
What started as just an idea and a Facebook message is finally launching. We've put a lot of work into it and we know it is just the beginning. It's so exciting! We're one step closer to our goal of making sure that no families in our community ever have to choose between food and diapers again.
If you are interested in helping out with donations or diapers or anything else, please email us! If you or someone you know could benefit from the Project, please contact us or send them our way! You can find the DFW Cloth Diaper Project's website here. You can also find us on Facebook and twitter.