Thursday, December 17, 2009

I heard the ECHO today!

Hello, everyone!  I have some fabulous news: Drop Your Drawers will be partnering with ECHO Outreach Ministries here in Tallahassee to distribute the donated goods to the people who need them!  Today, I spoke with ECHO's Emergency Resource Program Director, who affirmed the great need in our community for adult diapers, infant diapers, and feminine sanitary products.  She was delighted to hear about our efforts.  I will be meeting with her in person when I deliver the donations after the completion of the initial drive.  This is exciting!

For those who are not yet aware, ECHO Outreach Ministries is a nonprofit organization that has been in Tallahassee for almost thirty years.  They provide many kinds of goods for emergency assistance, including food, clothes, and furniture, to needy persons in our community.  They also provide employment assistance and family services.  ECHO has partnered with local houses of worship, and is a member of both the Chamber of Commerce and the United Way of the Big Bend.   ECHO stands for Emergency Care Help Organization, and here is the website:  From their website: "ECHO is the largest faith based human services agency directly assisting more than 20,690 people each year. ECHO puts faith into action by serving people in crisis and poverty."  Thank you, ECHO, for generously partnering with us!

As you may have inferred from the above, I am broadening the initial request: instead of just collecting diapers and underwear, I would also like to collect donations of packs of sanitary pads and tampons.  These are all the kinds of items that are desperately needed, are often expensive, are very personal, and are not covered by other kinds of assistance (like Medicaid or food stamps).  Yet, by and large, people rarely think to donate these.  So, to put on your Christmas shopping list: diapers and pads of all kinds!

Stay tuned for our first donation drive, coming soon!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Why we need for you to drop your drawers...

Welcome, all!  This issue of diaper needs was first brought to my attention with the following article about a father essentially having to choose between food for his family and diapers for his disabled teenage daughter.

His story broke my heart.  I was surprised to hear that adult diapers were not covered by Medicaid because they were not considered durable medical equipment; other disposable, non-lifesaving equipment is also not funded. Some families are able to budget for this, but during hard times, many others are not.  As the father said in the article, how can his daughter go to school without diapers if she is incontinent?  Why should a family have to make a difficult choice about purchasing necessities?  This problem is also true when it comes to diapers for infants and toddlers in low-income families, of course.

In the case of those who face involuntary incontinence - including the disabled, the elderly, and very young children - a diaper is as important as a toilet is for those who can use it.  We don't allow businesses to build a structure without including a working toilet, so why should we deprive underprivileged families of diapers if they cannot afford them?   We have wonderful charities that provide food, clothes, and even books to needy families, but what about diapers?

So, here's where you can help.  I will be hosting diaper-and-underwear drives on a regular basis.  I've included underwear because it's another regular part of necessary clothing that many charities don't provides.  Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to be on the alert for the drives and to please contribute if you can.