Why Diapers?

Diaper Distribution Dec 2021

Why Diapers?

Diapers are easy to take for granted – until you need one, and don’t have one. Any caregiver can tell you that diapers are a necessity - not a luxury. Yet they are not covered by funds for WIC, SNAP, or any federal assistance programs.

Greater DC Diaper Bank (GDCDB) was founded in 2010 and supports vulnerable families in our region by collaborating with partners to distribute essential baby and hygiene products and expand access to critical services. Over the course of the past twelve years, we have partnered with social service and community organizations in DC, Maryland, and Virginia to distribute millions of diapers and to help thousands of families access critical social safety nets. Our products, coupled with the work of our community partners, alleviate financial pressure on families, provide resources to lift them out of poverty, and keep babies healthy and happy.

In the Washington, DC metro area, where studies have shown it takes $100,000 for a family of four to get by, limited means can force parents to make choices between buying food or diapers for their children. We call that “impossible math.” Do you spend your last $20 on diapers – or food? It’s a choice no family should have to make.

Nearly all—98%—of the families receiving GDCDB diapers and essential products have incomes below $50,000 and nearly 80% of those families have an annual income of below $20,000. Furthermore, 72% do not have enough diapers to meet their baby’s needs for eight days or more each month. According to the National Diaper Bank Network, “Nationally, 57% of parents experiencing diaper need who rely on childcare said they missed an average of 4 days of school or work in the past month because they didn’t have diapers.”

Providing diapers to families fills not only a basic hygiene need - but also improves emotional and mental health and quality of life for both babies and caregivers. 98% of the families we serve say receiving diapers reduces their stress. Having a steady supply of diapers each month puts money back in the pockets of parents whose resources are already stretched thin - extra money to put towards a roof over their heads, bus fare to get to work, the pursuit of education, and food to feed their families.

Whether it is job training, housing assistance, or providing quality childcare, our products open the
doors for vulnerable families to find these programs and build trust and continuity with a social service
organization well equipped to serve them. A bundle of diapers provides immediate economic and stress
relief in the short term, but the ability for those diapers to catalyze a ripple effect of additional support
for economically vulnerable families makes them transformative in the long term.

In twelve short years, we have gone from an annual distribution of 10,000 diapers to ten million diapers.

● In 2019 we distributed 2 million diapers.
● In 2022 we distributed 2 million diapers in the first three months of the year.
● By the end of this year, we project to distribute 10 million diapers to families in our community.

This is 500% growth in four years. Your donations help us sustain this level of rapid growth and ensure the families we serve can count on getting the products they rely on. With your generosity, we will be able to meet 30,000+ families with compassion year after year. Your gift puts basic necessities – diapers, formula, wipes – directly into the hands of a caregiver whose child’s life will be enriched by these essentials.

Charity Name
Greater DC Diaper Bank
Photo Caption
Partners from TAPP pick up diapers from Greater DC Diaper Bank's warehouse. Partners use these diapers as gateway resources, to help their clients access comprehensive services that help the entire family unit.
Photo Credit
Greater DC Diaper Bank