Diaper Drive Brings Relief for Mothers and Children

Post a Comment » Written on September 1st, 2009     
Filed under: News
KERMAN, CA (September 1, 2009) – Members of Kerman Covenant Church knew they had to act when a doctor told them that many mothers in the west side of Fresno County were washing and reusing disposable diapers because they could not afford new ones.

Within one month, the congregation collected 6,240 baby wipes and 6,260 diapers in sizes ranging from newborn to size 5. The Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission (FEOC) will distribute the items to mothers in need.

Members of the commission “were thrilled that we were thinking of diapers and wipes,” says Kerman pastor Dan Shelton. “They had been struggling with a way to help provide relief and support to mothers with young children.”

The Covenant church has worked with the FEOC on other relief efforts. In April, the congregation collected more than 5,000 pounds of beans, rice, and canned goods to be distributed by the FEOC to 200 needy families. The congregation also raised more than $6,500 to purchase perishable and nonperishable food items for distribution. To read story on the distribution, click here.

The relief drives have focused on helping farm workers, who have experienced unemployment rates up to 50 percent, Shelton says. He explains the high unemployment rates are due to drought and regulatory orders affecting water deliveries to farmers, which have led farmers to reduce crops and even let land lay fallow, says Pastor Dan Shelton.

The diaper drive began July 19 and concluded August 16. Church members purchased all of the diapers and wipes with their own funds or with cash donations, Shelton says.

Other congregations have followed suit. The pastor of the local Evangelical Lutheran Church of America started a diaper drive in his congregation, and he challenged others in his denomination to do the same. That drive will end Sunday.

Shelton anticipates that the church will be helping the farm workers again later this year. Although current public-private partnerships are providing funding for food, Shelton says he expects that to dry up around November.

“We will probably look at doing something around Thanksgiving and Christmas,” he says. “What that may look like is unknown at this point.”

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