SO310 Diaper Drive by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology is annually organized by students in SO310 (Social Class in the U.S.) since 2018. Donations including cash will be given to Community Action this year.
SO310 Diaper Drive was initiated by the students in SO310 in 2018 after learning about diaper need, a hidden social problem, and how low-income parents, especially single mothers, struggle with providing diapers for their babies. In particular, they were shocked by how many parents have to devise diaper stretching strategies including reusing diapers by hanging wet ones to dry or scraping feces from dirty diapers. One of the students states that "I was angered, encouraged, and hopeful that something and someone can come and help this situation. I was not aware that diapers costed so much so this topic really opened my eyes to the realities that most families have to face."
Students also learned that 1) 1 in 3 American families cannot afford diapers - Diapers are expensive. 2) SNAP (formerly called food stamps) & WIC programs do not cover diapers, and 3) Babies can experience diaper rash, irritation, and possibly hospitalization due to soiled diapers. Most of all, 4) "Diaper need can also interfere with children’s educational opportunities and parents’ abilities to work, as most childcare centers require parents to bring at least a week’s worth of diapers at a time." (Dr. Jennifer Randles)
SO310 Diaper Drive is organized to raise public awareness for diaper need and collect diapers for low-income families. At the same time, SO310 Diaper Drive as HICEP (High Impact Community Engagement Practice) is a great opportunity for students to utilize skills and knowledge in real-life, let alone getting involved in a local community.
In 2021, SO310 Diaper Drive will be held from March 15 to April 2. Although we will have few drop-off boxes on campus (The Union and Mabee Library), we are having Online Donation Drive due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Struggling families' diaper need is much worse as the pandemic hit them much harder. The rest of the nation is witnessing “unprecedented demand for diapers,” according to Joanne Goldblum, chief executive officer of the National Diaper Bank Network, headquartered in New Haven, Conn. It is time for us to step up to assist these families in need.
This year we (students in SO310, Spring 2021) had to prepare for everything online due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. We have three groups for each task and worked remotely.