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BOOTY BOOK BABY: A Community Diaper Drive & Book Party Benefiting Mirys List Families

WHAT:

BOOTY BOOK BABY: A Community Diaper Drive & Book Party Benefiting Miry’s List Families

WHERE:

Skylight Books
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027

WHEN:

Community Diaper Drive: August 20-27th from 10AM-10PM (come by any day/anytime, but do not leave diapers outside the store!)

Book Party: August 27th from 12-2PM **Special Guests announced in the coming weeks!**

WHO:

You! You can get involved with BOOTY BOOK BABY by dropping off unused disposable diapers to be distributed to families in September.

HOW:

Gather up any of the following and head to Skylight Books!

**Open packages of new diapers
**Closed packages of new diapers
**Loose new diapers in bags
**Any diaper brand
**Any diaper size - but please note - families are in need of sizes 2,3,4,5,6. The most donated sizes are Newborn and size 1.

Or you can support a local business by buying diapers from The Pump Station's website!

Just select diapers, use the code DIAPERDRIVE at checkout to receive $1 off your purchase, and the Pump Station staff will deliver your diaper donation to the Book Party at Skylight Books on August 27th! http://bit.ly/PSDiapers 

And learn more about The Pump Station and their services here: http://www.pumpstation.com/

WHY:

A little story, from Michelle Franke of PEN Center USA, it'll make your heart feel good...

A few weekends ago, I was reading a 2015 piece in The Atlantic, "The Diaper Dilemma". Reporter Olga Kazan writes:

"Infants use about 240 diapers per month. A year’s supply of diapers costs $936. That means a single mother mother working full time at the minimum wage can expect to spend 6 percent of her annual pay on Pampers alone. Meanwhile, the two biggest programs that assist low-income mothers, SNAP (food stamps) and WIC, don’t cover diapers or baby wipes. That might be why, in a study of 877 pregnant and parenting women published in Pediatrics in 2013, a team of researchers found that needing diapers and not being able to buy them was a leading cause of mental health problems among new moms.

For the study, Megan Smith, assistant professor of psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine, approached women in New Haven, Connecticut, and asked them one simple question:

“If you have children in diapers, do you ever feel that you do not have enough diapers to change them as often as you would like?”

Almost 30 percent of the women responded “yes”—they often lacked sufficient diapers. Their explanations of what they did to “stretch” the diapers reflect the harrowing reasons why so many new moms feel depressed and anxious. Mothers would take the diapers off, dump out the poop, and put the diapers back on. They would air-dry the diapers. They’d let their kids sit in wet diapers for longer than they should—a practice that can lead to UTIs and other infections. Other moms have reported potty training infants who are less than a year old—at least six months earlier than is recommended—in order to save money."

Here's the full piece. Please read it.

As a new mom, I have been thinking a lot about diaper donation. Our son is 6 months old and sizing out of diapers quickly. Once he does, we're left with loose diapers - sometimes a few, sometimes a lot. We often wonder - what's the most direct way to donate these diapers to families who need them? I posed this exact question to my Facebook community, saying I wanted to get involved, wanted to learn more about diaper donation, and that I'd be willing to coordinate a diaper drive.

A friend popped on the chain and offered to intro me to someone from Miry's List. Do you know about Miry's list? They help refugee families from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, and more, create new lives in the US after fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries. Read about their work here: https://www.miryslist.org/about-us/. Amazing what citizens can do together, right?

Waiting to hear back, I thought maybe Miry's List families would want our diapers. Next question was - Where would this diaper drive take place? Most of my professional contacts in LA are literary ones, as I'm the Executive Director of PEN Center USA, a literary arts nonprofit based in LA.Diapers and books might seen unrelated, but I think there's an important connection between them.

See, I love books. I have since I was a girl. I love words and writing and writers. I believe these things are endlessly powerful, that they create strong, empathetic people and communities. Book love can't be experienced if basic needs aren't met though. It's hard for a baby who is uncomfortable and a parent who doesn't feel confident to sit down and read together.

So I asked Skylight Books if they would host a Diaper Drive and Book Party featuring local authors reading their favorite children's books... and they said yes!

Diapers and books. A perfect fit!

And you know who emailed me the day after I talked to Skylight Books? Miry herself! Turns out Miry's families do need our diapers - 95% of families the org serves have children in diapers and 11 babies are on the way! That's a lot of diapers, folks. But I believe in us.

So here we go - "BOOTY BOOK BABY: A Community Diaper Drive & Book Party Benefiting Miry’s List Families" is happening from August 20-27th at Skylight Books. On the 27th the drive will conclude with a Book Party from 12-2 PM.

And if you have any questions or if you want to volunteer at the Book Party on August 27th - email michelle@penusa.org. And if you're an org that might need diapers in the future - email me at michelle@penusa.org

Event date: 
Sunday, August 27, 2017 - 12:00pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027