Bonner, Basehor residents work to support ‘Diaper Drive’
In the spirit of the season — good will toward fellow man — members of the Bonner Springs and Basehor communities are working to collect needed items for those who can’t help themselves, just in time for Christmas.
Joseph Wood said he decided to create the HappyBottoms Diaper Drive Dec. 21 at Twisters to help a relatively new not-for-profit organization in Kansas City formed to provide diapers to low-income families. It is the second such event he has organized for HappyBottoms, and this time his fellow members of the Bonner Springs Alumni Association were quick to help, in addition to several other area organizations.
HappyBottoms Diaper Drive
6:30-10 p.m. Dec. 21
Twisters, 13100 Kansas Ave., Bonner Springs
Event details may also be found on Facebook.
Aside from the Dec. 21 event, donations may be made at the following drop boxes in the Bonner and Basehor area:
• Earl Bryant Heating & AC, 15280 Briar Rd, Basehor
• The Lake Forest Post Office, Lake of the Forest, Bonner Springs
Financial donations can also be made online at happybottoms.org.
Wood said he began supporting the organization when he realized that diapers remain an overlooked area of need despite today’s best outreach efforts: Safety-net programs such as SNAP (food stamps) and Women, Infants and Children don’t cover the purchase of diapers. In the worst cases, some babies spend days in the same diaper, which is a threat not only to their comfort but also their health.
“Babies are the most vulnerable members of our society,” Wood said. “HappyBottoms aims to help families in need by providing some comfort and, in many cases, relief to these families and babies.”
As a parent, Wood said he realizes the importance of diapers in ensuring proper hygiene and comfort for babies.
“Even the most cared-for babies get diaper rashes,” Wood said. “They are just miserable; their cries are heart-breaking. Now imagine not being able to do anything for your child because you have to choose between paying the electric bill to keep the heat on or buying diapers.”
All manner of donations are accepted, from diapers and pull-ups (partial packages included), rash creams and diaper wipes, to financial contributions. For every $10 monetary donation, HappyBottoms can provide up to one month of diapers to a baby in need.
However, the HappyBottoms organization notes that cloth diapers aren’t an option for the families it serves.
“If you’re poor, you probably don’t own a washing machine, and some Laundromats don’t allow cloth diapers,” the organization’s website states. “Additionally, licensed day care centers, especially the free and subsidized kind, don’t accept cloth diapers.”
Members of the Bonner Springs High School Alumni Association and other community organizations have been supporting the drive since its planning began in November.
“This diaper drive is such a great idea. It’s so simple but will have a very powerful impact on these families,” said Echo Hartig, an alumni association board member.
Chrisie Wiseman, a BSHS alum, was the first to offer to collect donations at her workplace, Earl Bryant Heating & AC in Basehor, while Daniel Mellott, another BSHS alum and UPS store owner, donated materials to ensure donation drop boxes could be readily available.
“Every day I see organizations working to make people’s lives a little less stressful in their time of need,” Wiseman said. “I felt compelled to help with HappyBottoms because I am a mother of three and understand how important diapers are for the health and happiness of a baby.”
Other organizations supporting the effort by collecting diaper donations include St. Martin’s in the Fields church in Edwardsville through Christmas Eve, and Cub Scout Pack 3651 in Shawnee.
Kimberly Alberico, a BSHS alumna and Edwardsville native, has worked on the drive to set up drop boxes and publicize the event’s details.
“We hear so often about how families have to choose between utilities and Christmas presents, or even food on the table versus heat,” she said. “But honestly, I had never heard about, much less thought about, the dilemma of choosing between a clean diaper or food. As a mom, helping with this event was a no-brainer.”