Help a Mother Out provides diapers, raises awareness, and advocates for long-term change in the social safety net. We are dedicated to increasing access to diapers for families in need. Our vision is a day when every baby has a healthy supply of diapers.
What We Do
We’ve built close partnerships with family service agencies, which allows us to get diapers into the hands of families who need them the most. Our diapers help service providers cultivate effective and positive relationships with their clients, empowering low-income families to become self-sufficient. Something as small as a diaper can truly have a huge impact.
We provide individuals and groups with a way to make a real difference in their communities by organizing diaper drives and awareness-raising events. Combining grassroots advocacy and collaborative fundraising, our innovative approach has received national recognition and inspired similar efforts across the country. As our impact continues to grow, we remain a small, streamlined, and highly efficient organization. Guided by co-founder and executive director Lisa Truong, Help a Mother Out is powered by the generous support of our volunteers, citizen fundraisers, donors, advisers, and a dedicated board of directors. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, we also have a sister chapter in Southern California and have facilitated diaper drives in other states like Washington and Arizona. We are a fiscally sponsored project* of Community Initiatives, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
It’s all Oprah’s fault. During the great recession of 2009, Lisa Truong saw an Oprah segment featuring a middle-class family who’d lost their jobs, then their home, and were living in a shelter with their young children. That story, along with media reports about growing numbers of homeless families in California, spurred Lisa and her friend Rachel Fudge—who were both new mothers—to find a way to lend a hand.
As they reached out to family shelters in the San Francisco Bay Area, they learned that the number-one need wasn’t clothing, blankets, or even food but diapers—which aren’t covered under social-safety-net programs like WIC or food stamps and are in short supply at food banks and shelters. So Lisa and Rachel organized a Mother’s Day donation drive to collect diapers and wipes for local agencies. In one month, they collected more than 15,000 diapers via social networks like Facebook and Twitter, mom blogs, and listservs, as well as their real-world networks of mothers’ groups, local parenting stores, and play spaces. Surprised and awed by the overwhelming community support—and humbled by the breadth of need in California and across the country—they decided to nurture this seed of an idea into a truly grassroots movement.
Today, thanks to the amazing powers of social media and the dedication of countless volunteers and community partners, Help a Mother Out has distributed over a million diapers, inspired similar efforts around the country, and garnered attention from major media outlets.
Co-founder Lisa Truong currently serves as the organization’s executive director, while Rachel Fudge remains on the board of advisers.
What You Can Do
*From April, 2010 to September, 2011 Help A Mother Out was incubated as a social media innovation project at Point Foundation.
Photo credit: Pink Onesie from www.obeythebaby.com