Need is even more desperate as a result of COVID-19 pandemic
HOUSTON – All through May, KSHJ 1430 AM, the Guadalupe Radio Network’s station in Houston, will ask listeners to help parents who can’t afford diapers for their babies and toddlers. The radio station is sponsoring the Month of Mary Drive for Diapers for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Diapers will be given to parents through Catholic Charities’ Blessed Beginnings Life Center.
Diapers are a significant expense for any family, but especially for low income households. The average baby can go through eight diapers a day, which adds up to a thousand dollars a year for just one infant. That’s a significant expense for families that already struggle to pay rent and utilities.
The need is even more acute this year, as families struggle with the economic blow from the COVID-19 pandemic. Blessed Beginnings staff are delivering diapers and baby items to many of their current clients who have been sheltering in place, dealing with loss of income. The program also is holding drive-through diaper distributions to supply parents while maintaining social distancing.
In addition to material support to low income parents, Blessed Beginnings provides pregnancy and parent education, as well as counseling to help parents have healthy babies and children.
“Not having to buy diapers has helped me a lot because it has lifted the financial and emotional burden of worrying where to get diapers,” said a new mother who receives supplies while attending classes at Blessed Beginnings.
The diaper deficit can have ripple effects for parents that go beyond the necessity to provide a healthy environment for their babies. “Not having enough money for diapers can even affect a parent’s ability to work, since most child care facilities require parents to supply diapers for their babies,” said Blessed Beginnings director Christy Salinas. “So if a parent can’t afford diapers, they’re risking job security as well.”
Diapers donated to the Houston Catholic Radio Month of Mary Drive for Diapers will stock Blessed Beginnings’ Baby Boutique, where infant and child care items are given to families who participate in pregnancy and parenting classes.
“There are several great reasons for this Diaper Drive, and especially during this time when we face the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said KSHJ General Manager Tim Motte. “First, KSHJ AM 1430 wants to be the Catholic hub for Houston, connecting our listeners to great ministries like Catholic Charities. Second, we all need to perform the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. And third, what better way to honor Mary as mother of the church than by helping mothers in need!”
Diapers can be dropped off at Catholic Charities locations throughout greater Houston. Gifts may be made online, either financial contributions through the website or through a wish list set up on Amazon.com.