TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - It's an essential need for all growing babies - a clean diaper. But some parents need help getting them.
The Getting to 1 Diaper Bank, a joint project between the Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio and the Toledo Lucas County Health Department, is working to decrease infant mortality by collecting diapers in light of Diaper Need Awareness Week taking place all over the country.
The week kicked off on Sept. 26 and will continue through Oct. 2. Since the initiative started in June, Getting to 1 has been able to provide 40,464 diapers to nearly 400 children in Lucas County.
Although the organization is proud of its efforts, they are still in need of more donations, as one in three families in Lucas County struggle to provide diapers for their babies.
"If we're going to move the needle on infant mortality and have us stop all our babies from dying in our community, it's going to take the community. This is just one way that we can make sure that our babies are clean and safe and healthy," said Carly Salamone, a collaborative at Getting to 1.
According to Salamone, not having a diaper for baby can affect the entire family, and the mom in particular, in more ways than one.
"They may not be able to leave their home because they don't have a clean diaper to put on baby so baby has no diaper on so they can't go to work, the baby can't go to daycare, the mom can't do simple things like go to the grocery store and buy food for the family," she said.
Diapers are not covered by any government program like food stamps or WIC, so low-income families have limited options to provide diapers to their children.
Those in need would have to get referred, by a home visitation agency such as Pathways, Healthy Start or Help Me Grow, which the majority of are being housed out of the Lucas County Health Department.
Those interested in hosting a diaper drive at their workplace or place of worship are encouraged to contact Carly Salamone at 419-842-0800.
Donations can be made at the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department through Friday.