Deacons’ diaper drive to pamper families in need

Lisa Johnston | lisajohnston@archstl.org

It doesn't matter if you're loyal to Huggies, Pampers or Luvs. The permanent deacons of the archdiocese want your diapers. New diapers, just to be clear.

The permanent deacons are organizing an archdiocesan-wide drive to collect baby diapers for those in need. Deacons primarily will organize collections in their parishes the weekend of March 12 and 13.

Each parish will decide where it wants to donate the diapers, said Deacon Mike Suden of St. Bridget of Kildare Parish in Pacific, who is coordinating the effort. Suggestions include local pregnancy resource centers, St. Vincent de Paul conferences and neighborhood social service agencies.

Diapers and baby wipes are necessities not covered by SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children). A 2013 study published in Pediatrics showed that an adequate supply of diapers costs $936 per year, per child. The study, which surveyed 877 pregnant and parenting women, concluded that having an adequate supply of diapers is a tangible solution for reducing parenting stress.

St. Bridget is planning to distribute its donations to its St. Vincent de Paul conference and The Agape House, a Pacific-based organization that assists low-income, disabled and elderly families. "I got a lot of interest when I said everything stays in the area," Deacon Suden said.

Baby diapers aren't the only need. Parishes may collect adult diapers, too, which are needed but often forgotten. It also speaks to the Church's value of human life, young or old.

"We get many calls here for adult diapers and especially after the flood," he said. "We have had several parishioners who lost everything." Pacific was one of the communities affected by flooding at the end of December.

Deacon Suden described the drive as a friendly effort — not a competition among parishes — to serve others in need. It's what being a permanent deacon is all about. "We are in service to the bishop," Deacon Suden said. "We do this out of love for God and love for the Church." 

Diaper Drive

When: March 12 and 13

Where: Your parish

To learn more about the deacons' diaper drive, contact Deacon Mike Suden at mmeadg@aol.com. 

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