A.B. 1516 – The Diaper Act of 2014

Update July 15, 2014: Next hearing is scheduled for Monday, August 4th at 10am, before the CA Senate Appropriations Committee.

Update May 28, 2014: AB1516 passed the Assembly floor today 53-19. The bill will now move onto the State Senate. 

Update May 23, 2014: The Assembly Appropriations Committee approved AB 1516 and the bill will move onto the Assembly floor for vote. THANK YOU to all of our supporters for your advocacy, as well as the Safety Net team at the Women’s Policy Institute. Special thanks to Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez for authoring this legislation, as well as Appropriations Chair, Assembly Member Mike Gatto and all committee members who supported the bill!! 

Update April 9, 2014: The Assembly Human Services committee approved AB 1516 and the bill will move onto the Assembly Appropriations committee. We will be providing tools and ideas on how you can help support this important bill in the future. Thanks to all our friends for supporting our mission! 

It’s a big week for California babies at the State Capitol. For the first time ever, diaper need will be formally discussed. Kind of a big deal around these parts!

Assembly Bill 1516, introduced by Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez (D-80, San Diego), would make two significant changes to the California Welfare and Institutions Code:

  • An amendment to the Welfare-to-Work Article would provide an additional $80 monthly supplement for children 0-2 years, who are living in CalWORKs-assisted households. This supplemental income could be used by parents to help meet their children’s basic needs, including diapers and formula.
  • Creation of a new program, the Unmet Diaper Need Financing Fund, would provide financial resources to social service agencies for the purpose of helping to meet the diaper needs of the communities they serve. Agencies that work in largely impoverished communities could qualify for financial assistance to be used to help families gain accessibility to clean diapers.

We are excited AB 1516 has been introduced and is up for consideration, as its passage would have a tremendous impact on the families that we work to serve. We’re currently organizing our efforts to show support for AB 1516 and let our legislators know how important the issue of diaper accessibility is to low income families of California.

The first hearing to consider AB 1516 is this Tuesday, April 8th in front of the Human Services Committee at the State Capitol in Sacramento. We are organizing a small delegation to attend the hearing to show support, and Lisa Truong, our Founder and Executive Director, will testify in front of the committee.

This is a great opportunity for us to let the California State Assembly know that diaper need is a real and significant issue in our communities. If you are interested in showing your support, you can contact your Assembly Member to tell them that you support #AB1516. If you need to look up your Assembly Member, you can do so HERE.

We’ll be sure to post updates following the hearing on Tuesday, and we’ll continue to let you know of important legislative action items.

Read our letter of support here.

Help a mother out with a quick click over to Slidelane.com

Slidelane is a resource for new parents to find, share and recommend the best places and services in their neighborhood. Listings on the site include sleep training consultants, music classes, meal delivery services and family-friendly restaurants. It’s a brand new site and the co-founders are new advocates of Help A Mother Out. For that, we are extremely grateful.

From Tuesday, February 11 through Friday, February 14, Slideline will be donating diapers to families in need. Each new sign up results in 25 diapers donated in your honor.

Registering for access to Slidelane involves no commitment or cost and only takes two minutes. Help spread the love!

Sign up for Slidelane now >

Bay Area: 4th Annual Benefit Tea – March 22nd

BAY AREA – HELP A MOTHER OUT

Invites you to a morning of food and friendship…

4th ANNUAL BENEFIT TEA

Emcee ~ Kristen Sze, ABC7 News Anchor

Community Impact Honoree: Earth Baby the Compostable Diaper Service

Saturday, March 22, 2014

10am – Noon 

Mark Hopkins Intercontinental

San Francisco, CA

{Babes in arms are welcome!}

 

For sponsorship opportunities or to RSVP, contact:

anna@helpamotherout.org or 415-938-6667

MomsLA Party Brings In Over 1800 Diapers!

In Glendale, a city near Los Angeles, the MomsLA.com blog community held their annual holiday party at Moonlight Rollerway last Sunday. As part of the festivities, guests were invited to bring donations of diapers or cash to benefit nearby emergency homeless shelter Ascencia, where there is, among others, a pregnant woman who is expected to deliver soon.

And they responded in force! In return donors were given raffle tickets to enter to win a variety of prizes donated by some wonderful donors.

It wasn’t the prizes they were going for, it was their natural generosity. We collected 1,788 diapers, several boxes of wipes, and $120 in cash so we could purchase even more diapers!

They’re so lovely.

That doesn’t mean they didn’t get excited when they won, though…

Here is E. with the mac daddy first prize – a Razor Electric Scooter!

Other prizes included a Wii console with additional games, KidTrax ride-on toys for toddlers, gift baskets from General Mills, signed copies of Randi Zuckerberg’s Dot Complicated, a $50 gift certificate to Moonlight Rollerway, and a year’s subscription to Audiobooks.com!

Julia looks forward to activating!

The highlight of the party (besides the diaper haul, for me) was seeing everyone’s happy faces on the roller rink. When is the last time you skated?

Thanks to MomsLA.com for partnering with us on this drive! Here’s a video they made about the event:

New Diaper Drop Bin in Southern California

In the sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles, we have placed a new drop bin at the Play Destination in Agoura Hills. Now there is another place where you can take those diapers that don’t fit your baby, or diapers and new wipes that you have collected to help needy families in our area.

The Play Destination is a spacious indoor playground for children 6 and under with ample comfortable seating for parents. I’ve gone there with my own children on those super-hot summer days when outdoor play can actually be hazardous. The kids love the variety of activities they can choose from – toys, climbing, air hockey, and even a bounce house.

The Play Destination also hosts private parties and offers educational classes for families.

Our newly minted diaper drop bin is right inside the front doors. The Play Destination is located on Canwood in Agoura Hills near Sit’N’Sleep.

The Play Destination

28501 Canwood Street, Suite 3E
Agoura Hills, CA 91301
(818) 292-8644

#GiveCheeksAChance on #GivingTuesday and through December

My youngest son was 9 months old when we started HAMO – talk about timing. Tired of Great Recession news, and with a little Oprah inspiration, a friend and I decided to take action in our community after learning that diapers were forgotten in the safety net. With your help we’ve been able to move mountains and change lives of women and children living in the margins of our society. On #GivingTuesday I’m sharing “Sheila’s” story with you.

Sheila was referred to one of our community partners after she found herself pregnant and homeless. Having grown up in foster care, she has no family support. Sheila began to see Lucy, a social worker from the department of public health. During one of their very first visits together, Lucy brought diapers for Sheila’s newborn baby “Michael.” As Lucy told me, “Those diapers sealed the deal, and showed her that she could trust me. Those diapers brought her hope when she had none.” Since those first visits, the pair have continued to work together and Sheila has accomplished so much. She was able to secure transitional housing and works the evening shift at Walmart, while her partner cares for the baby. She still has a tremendous hill to climb. But just about every other week she can look forward to Lucy knocking on her door, bringing hope in a little package.

In the coming year our goals include helping more moms like Sheila. Here are a few ways you can help us on #GivingTuesday through December 31st:

  • Help us reach our year-end fundraising goal of $10,000. We will use these funds to leverage bulk-purchasing opportunities and support our program. Click here to make your gift. If you recently made a year-end gift – THANK YOU AGAIN! Skip to #2;
  • Forward this post to 10 of your friends with a personal note telling friends why you give back through HAMO. Encourage them to do good with you and match your gift. Whether it’s $500, $150, $50, or $10… every dollar hollers.
  • Give us a social media shout out on #GivingTuesday. We’ve drafted up a sample tweet/status update for you at the end of this email.

Access to diapers impacts big things: Mothers are less prone to depression, young children feel clean and dry, and social workers are provided with a valuable gateway towards cultivating deeper relationships with clients.

Friends, thank you for living your values and supporting our work. Ninety-percent of our support comes from individuals like you. Thanks for doing good with us.

Gratefully yours,

 

Lisa Truong, on behalf of the entire HAMO crew

Giving Thanks to You!

Thanksgiving is next week and we didn’t want to miss the opportunity to thank our community for all of your support. So we made this short 2 minute video just for you.

 

Thank-a-thon 2013 from Help A Mother Out on Vimeo.

Thanks for being part of our community!

– Lisa T., on behalf the HAMO Crew

@Facebook | Give | Let Good Grow 2013

p.s. Check back with us soon to learn about the many ways you can help mothers this holiday season!

In Memory of Baby Jordan

In honor of Infant Loss and Remembrance Day I wanted to share a story that came to us last year from Liz at the Junior Gym. JG has hosted a donation bin for our families since shortly after we started HAMO.

Hi Lisa,

I just wanted to email you to let you know about a recent diaper donation that came through Jr Gym. A couple came in with hundreds of diapers to drop off.  I wasn’t there, but Justin said he could sense their sadness as soon as he saw them.  They told him that their baby had passed away which was why they had so many diapers to donate.  It was very important to them that we pass on to HAMO who the diapers were from.  So, that’s what I’m doing.  His name was baby Jordan and he was only a few months old.

Life is truly a mystery.

– Liz, Junior Gym

Because we never got to properly thank Jordan’s parents for their gift directly, I wanted to share their story today to honor their sweet baby. We are blessed to have been touched by Jordan’s life and we know those diapers meant a lot to the mom and baby who ultimately received them.

New & Improved Diaper Drive Toolkit

It was about time that we revised the toolkit since the old one was from way back when we first started. We’re learned a lot since then and put those best practices into this handy diaper drive toolkit. Use the toolkit to host a drive for HAMO, or for a diaper bank in your own area.

Click here to get the toolkit.

You will find simple step by step plans, flyers and charts, sample letters to get others involved, and more. Let us know what you think?

UCLA panel explores child poverty – Sept 10, 2013

We are excited to attend an upcoming discussion, sponsored by our colleagues at LA Diaper Drive and the National Diaper Bank Network, with a panel of experts on the effects of child poverty. This is an great step towards spreading awareness of the needs of low-income moms and children.

LOS ANGELES – A panel featuring experts from law, health care and social services will examine how often children’s basic needs go unmet and the long-term consequences of that deficit, on Tuesday, September 10, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the UCLA School of Nursing, Factor Building, Moseley Auditorium.

One in five American children is growing up in poverty, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Research has repeatedly documented health and educational disadvantages that follow these children for a lifetime. “Extreme poverty,” individuals living on $2 per day, has grown to engulf 1.65 million households, according to the National Poverty Center.

The panelists will include:

Megan Aubrey: vice president of development at Children’s Institute, Inc., a non-profit serving more than 20,000 vulnerable children and families in Los Angeles County and a agency that distributes diapers with LA Diaper Drive.

Jessica Bartholow: a legislative advocate at the Western Center on Law and Poverty with over a decade of experience in anti-poverty organizing, advocacy and program development at the local, state and national level.

Joanne Goldblum: executive director of the National Diaper Network, which supports community-based organizations nationwide that provide diapers to the 30 percent of low-income families who cannot afford them.

Angela Hudson: assistant professor of nursing at UCLA where she teaches maternity-newborn nursing. Her research focuses on prevention and health promotion with at-risk youth.

This event is co-sponsored by LA Diaper DriveThe National Diaper Bank Network and the UCLA School of Nursing.

San Diego: Cruise for the Cause! – Sat Aug 17

Magic 92.5 and Xavier The X-Man are having their 11thAnnual Cruise for the Cause on Saturday, August 17th. This Car Show and concert will be held at the Otay Ranch Town Center in Chula Vista from 10am to 4pm.

Enjoy a car show, concerts, a kid’s zone, makeovers, and more!

Come to this awesome free event for a great cause – helping save lives and kids with cancer!

Pachuca cosmetics is a cool makeup line inspired by the art of Latino culture and is all about confident women expressing a state of mind. They will have a pinup hair and makeup booth! Pachuca is generously donating their proceeds to HAMO.

Proceeds from event t-shirt sales will also benefit HAMO’s work in the San Diego community. Big thanks to friends Alicia and Xavier for supporting our local families with their t-shirt sales for the 5th year in a row!

Help support HAMO and other agencies at this fun event!

Yale Study: Low-income moms can’t afford diapers, mental health suffers

 

A recent study published by Pediatrics  finds that 30% of mothers (from a sample of almost 900 in the New Haven, CT area) struggle to afford an adequate supply of clean diapers for their babies.

This is not news to us, of course. We are always accepting donations big and small, but our supply is never enough. There are so many people in need that it is difficult to keep up.

A key message in the article is that diaper need can be used to measure risk to infants’ health, and suggests that physicians may screen families by asking about diaper need and then referring them to local diaper banks or distribution networks.

For families who are financially struggling, health care professionals and researchers should recognize not only food and housing but also diapers as basic needs.

This study represents a milestone in the national movement to address diaper need. There have been countless studies that have addressed hunger and children’s nutrition. We think this issue is just as crucial and invite you to join us in helping the women and children we serve.

Do you want to change lives? Join us and make a gift today.

While the study is valuable for its ability to bring attention to diaper need, let us not forget that the issue is not just a statistic. There are real people suffering from this problem. Watch this short video about a brave young mom who got the boost she needed with the help of diaper donations from YOU.

Welcome, KTVU News Viewers

Our co-founder Lisa Truong appeared on the KTVU evening news today to talk about diaper need in light of the Pediatrics magazine study announcement. We are grateful for the chance to address the work we do for a wider audience. Thank you to everyone who has come to this site today looking for more information about our mission.

If you need help getting diapers, contact one of our partner agencies near you, or dial 2-1-1 to find out about local services.

How can you help?

If you believe that children deserve to have their basic needs met, then we need you on our team.

Get to know us: we invite you to get to know more about our work. You can start by reading up on the Real Stories from moms who have been helped through our diaper program.

Donate: make the change by helping us get diapers into the hands of moms and young children. Your investment helps empower families and enables us to continue our program. Click here to donate online.

Start a fundraiser: Are you ready to do something greater than yourself? Do you want to amplify your impact by raising mission critical funds for the cause? Learn more about hosting an online fundraiser.

Bring us diapers: we accept new and opened packs of disposable diapers at drop locations in many areas. Click here and scroll down to see where your closest one is.

Host a diaper drive: there is bound to be a service organization in your community that works directly with people who need diapers. Rally your friends, neighbors, and family to donate diapers or funds by holding your own diaper drive.

Join our mission to change lives one diaper at a time.

Curt’s Story: In Honor of Father’s Day

In honor of Father’s Day, we want to share a moving testimonial from a father.

Curt’s story was highlighted at our annual Let Good Grow event by Phoebe Rubin. Phoebe is a volunteer at our partner agency, the Bayview Mission, a ministry of Grace Cathederal in San Francisco.

Here is what Phoebe shared with us:

I am a mother and the idea of running out of diapers horrifies me. That’s why I’ve volunteered at the baby ministry at Bayview Mission in San Francisco for the last four years.

I’ve given out diapers hundreds of diapers to families, and I know that access to diapers can mean the difference between having food, medicine and shelter—and not having those things.

I’m want to tell you about one family in particular. Curt is in his early 40’s and takes care of his baby Mia full time. Before his accident, Curt was a college-educated artist who made large metal sculptures and did construction work to pay the bills. Not anymore. Curt’s leg was badly injured when he fell from a 3rd story window at work. Surgery on Curt’s leg was botched, and his request for a second surgery was denied. Now, walking is a challenge for Curt. He lives on disability. One of the few times he goes out each week is when he comes to the ministry to pick up diapers and baby food for Mia.

Knowing Curt has made me grateful for my health, and the health of my family. That’s because Curt told me: that he never, in all of his life, dreamed that he would lose his health.  Curt grew up in a middle-class family. He never imagined himself disabled, needing help, instead of working and creating his art.  I bet many of you can hardly imagine that either.

About 3.5 years ago, Help a Mother Out started bringing diapers to our ministry. To us volunteers, being able to help families like Curt’s felt like winning the lottery. I have to admit that I look forward to seeing Curt roll up in his car each week with Mia.  He is such a well-informed and fun person. Every week I learn something new from him about local politics or current events.

Curt would say that diapers from Help a Mother Out have made it possible for him to buy things his family could not survive without. Instead of worrying about how to buy diapers, Curt can concentrate on parenting Mia. And that investment is paying off big time. Mia is a happy well taken care of baby.

Because of HAMO, Curt can do what he needs to do for his family—and his own health–rather than worrying about diapers. One day a few weeks back, after providing diapers for Curt dozens of times, there was a day when we ran out. The need is so enormous that, even though HAMO works around the clock, they can’t always provide diapers for every baby. I had to go out to Curt’s car and turn him away. He took the news calmly, but I wondered what was going through his mind, facing the week without HAMO’s help.  As I turned to go back inside, my heart felt heavy.  At that moment, it struck me what an enormous thing a diaper really is, and what a difference it can make in a life.  I’m happy to say that I gave Curt a bundle of diapers this week, thanks to HAMO.  Curt thanked me, and I thank HAMO for making lives like Curt’s, and his baby Mia’s, easier.

Curt’s story reminds us to be grateful for what we do have while encouraging us to remember that there are those who encounter unexpectedly difficult challenges in life.

As you honor the fathers in your life, we want to thank you for all that you do for dads like Curt.

How will you celebrate Father’s Day?

Children living in poverty – stats by state

Did you know that 23% of children in the US are living in poverty?

So over 16.837 million children under 18  years old live in families with annual income below $22,811 in 2011.

Based on analysis of the US Census, the Annie E. Casey foundation has posted statistics by state for 2007-2011 on their data center.

Looking at how California measures up to the other states:

  • In 2011, California ranked the highest with over 2 million children living in poverty increasing each year from 1.5 million in 2007. Texas and Florida take the 2nd and 3rd ranking with 1.829 million and 980,000 respectively.
  • New York ranks the highest with 521,000 children in poverty but Los Angeles ranks 2nd with276,000.
  • The median income for California is $59,100 and Texas is $52,300. But CA’s higher cost of living is approximately 10% higher than Texas.

These stats indicate the need for heightened awareness of income disparities. Food and diaper deserts are increasingly found in low-income neighborhoods. Continued efforts to address inequalities of access to basic needs are essential for the large (and growing) number of children and families living in poverty.

How does your state stack up? Are you surprised?

Clover By Clover

Clover By Clover’s generous support of our 3rd Annual Benefit Tea last month certainly made our meaningful celebration that much more so. Thank you!

Clover by Clover is a service that helps you take back the birthday party. Or the holiday. Or the graduation. Or the [insert celebration]. Take it back from the 1,000-piece toys that your relatives insist on giving the children. Take it back from the cheap plastic crap you already have too much of! Take it back from having your kids get more stuff that may quickly get broken, outgrown, or tossed into the “donate” pile.

Now you can set up a fundraiser for any special occasion that will benefit a worthy cause. Clover By Clover helps you facilitate it, and you can specify the cause and the amount that will be sent to them.


For example – for your son’s 9th birthday, instead of gifts, you ask friends and family to make a donation to the Clover By Clover page you set up to benefit, say, Help a Mother Out, or one of their other fine charity partners. At the end of the donation period, he has raised $400. He keeps a percentage of that money to spend or save, and the other part goes to the charity.

Founders Erin Aliaga and Betsy Ellis Chung started Clover By Clover because they thought that the latter scenario was preferable to “seeing stacks of toys at parties for children who really didn’t need (or even want) more.” They wanted to “make gifts more meaningful and celebrations more thoughtful.”