It sounds nice when government says they want to take care of something for you. But it’s kind of like lending money to a family member. There’s always a catch.
The latest buzz is about subsidizing diapers. I know a lot about those—I have a three-month-old. Those things aren’t cheap and you need a whole lot of them.
But the Obama White House is jumping straight to the government solution before looking at a multitude of other options available to low-income moms. In fact, when I first heard about this new plan, I immediately started researching where I might be able to donate diapers on the regular. The thought of a woman having to change her baby’s diaper less because she couldn’t afford a new pack truly makes my heart ache.
1. Try an Ad Campaign
That brings me to my first point: awareness. As a person who has the means to help, I intend to do so—and I’m happy to. Before jumping to the government subsidy solution, a nationwide awareness campaign could truly make a world of difference.
Many people stand ready to take on helping those in need, if they are only told where that need is. And surely this cause will touch the hearts of many well-off moms and families across the country.
2. Cloth Diapers Are Reusable
My first thought upon hearing that low-income families struggle to buy diapers in bulk (because they don’t have access to super stores or the Internet) was my mom. My mom recently told me that the fall my younger sister was born, she survived on ten cloth diapers. That was technically two of us in diapers at the same time—talk about pinching her pennies. We survived babyhood and had no lasting trauma from wearing cloth diapers.
While I didn’t go that route myself, I know many women who have chosen cloth diapers to save money and be kind to the environment. I didn’t see this idea mentioned once in the White House press release about the #DiaperGap initiative.
3. Don’t Forget Crisis Pregnancy Centers
Let’s not exclude the kindness of crisis pregnancy centers. The Left likes to demonize these facilities as anti-choice bastions of shame, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The CPCs I’ve been to are filled with the kindest human beings you’ll ever meet who care dearly about poor women in need.
They frequently run diaper drives and want nothing more than to help families provide for the babies to whom they so courageously chose to give life. In fact, I can’t imagine a woman walking into a CPC needing diapers and walking away empty-handed.
4. There’s a Nonprofit For That
The National Diaper Bank is another place families can go. This wonderful non-profit exists for this very reason—to help provide diapers to babies in need. Let’s encourage Americans to donate to help this organization thrive, rather than relying on big government to tax and spend as they see fit, taking opportunities from the rest of us to solve this problem according to our individual choices.
5. Ever Heard of Churches?
You know where else poor families can seek help? Their local churches. Churches are the social justice warriors of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Before it was hip to “do social justice,” churches were helping the poor and needy without question, publicity, or judgment. That hasn’t changed. It’s why so many people trust their churches to invest their tithes—a chosen gift—wisely. Yes, there are a few bad apples, but don’t underestimate the crucial value our churches have in providing for those in need.
I get the intention behind the White House #DiaperGap initiative, but I see a better solution. One where individuals rise up and help their communities by choice, where diaper companies themselves make the decision to donate, decrease prices, or find creative ways to help those in need. If it’s not diapers, it’s something else—and we must find ways to sustain ourselves without relying on the government. It’s possible.
Today, I’m going to buy some diapers for a woman in need. I’m going to make sure people are aware of all the wonderful cloth diapers available to them. I’m going to ensure I make a personal donation to the #DiaperGap. If we all did that, we wouldn’t need the government one bit.
UPDATE: According to a White House spokesman who contacted The Federalist after this article was initially published, the White House #DiaperGap initiative does not currently use federal funding to supply diapers.