1 in 3 Moms Struggle With the Diaper Need #ELB

Back in September, HAMO, together with nine other non profits,  received a unique invitation to sit down with Huggies and talk about the diaper issue. This summit, the first of it’s kind, was an amazing opportunity to meet people behind the organizations who have inspired us to continue the HAMO campaign.

The outcomes of this “Diaper Summit”  came to play a large role in the development of a new cause marketing campaign from Huggies called Every Little Bottom.

I know, I know. “Cause marketing” is the current overly used term across the social media landscape. People are *pooped* (ha ha) with the term and frankly I am too. What makes this campaign different, besides the fact you did not need to *vote* anyone in?

Not Your Average “Cute” Cause Marketing Campaign

Don’t let the cute name fool you. This is not your run of the mill marketing campaign. Following the Diaper Summit in September, the Huggies brand commissioned an independent research study focused on the diaper need in America. I stayed up late one night in New Haven and read through theEvery Little Bottom study. You can read the high level findings here [updated July 2, 2010 Download the study]. The study surveyed 1,500 mothers with babies 0-4 in diapers in the U.S. Essentially, the study quantitatively backs up what diaper advocates have been saying for quite some time:

1 in 3 American momstruggle to provide diapers for their baby. Not being able to afford diapers for your baby is not only a physical hardship, but it is emotional. For the baby AND the caregiver. Babies who need diapers suffer more physically and emotionally. They are more likely to show signs of irritation and discomfort, and cry and suffer more from diaper rash. If the caregiver is too distressed from not being able to provide diapers, it can affect their parenting skills, and ultimately, their ability to lead a self sufficient life.

Turning Rhetoric Into Action

What is Huggies doing? Last week they announced they are donating 2.5 million diapers to diaper bank partners in the U.S. and Canada. They have also committed to donating up to 22 million diapers later in the year. This is truly unprecedented.  I’m still trying to get my head around the numbers. Awesome, isn’t it?

From what I’ve seen Huggies is in it for the long haul. I think it is going to take this level of corporate commitment to take this “under the radar” cause to the next level. Partnerships and collaborations are being formed (they’re getting organizations like the Junior League and the Boys and Girls Club involved!). It is going to be wonderful to see it unfold and to see the level of awareness raised in every corner of the country.

Can we all stop donating diapers? NO! Because the need is truly dire and unmet (e.g., The Diaper Bank in New Haven distributes 200,000 diapers EACH MONTH over 3 counties – and it is still not enough!), it’s going to take a lot more than a corporate entity’s deep pockets. It is my hope this donation validates to you the rhetoric we (not to mention countless others) have been going on and on about.  Hopefully it will inspire more of you to remember to that a diaper drive is an easy way to give back to your community – just as a canned food drive, or a toy or book drive. Yes, it is going to take the generosity of corporations and philanthropic groups to move more than a few mountains. But the cause also needs the everyday generosity of individuals to make it sustainable.

Greater San Francisco News

This morning we will begin to distribute our Huggies ELB donation of 200,000 diapers to some very happy agencies. We have a few folks coming to help and will be sure to do a recap of this special day. In the meantime  you may (or may not!) be inclined to follow us on Twitter @helpamotherout for real time updates. And hey – SoCal friends, stay tuned for local news next week. We’re grateful to accept this in kind donation from Huggies on behalf of the families we serve.

Big congrats to mommy blogger in residence Kim Tracy Prince, as well as our friends Whitney and Heather of RookieMoms.com for signing on to become official ELB Blogger Ambassadors. These women, along with a great many others, have shown HAMO such kindness in our grassroots effort. We’re excited to see them play a role in this new venture.