Their story, yours and mine – it’s what we all carry with us on this trip we take, and we owe it to each other to respect our stories and learn from them.
-William Carlos Williams-
They entice our imaginations, evoke our emotions, and erase our assumptions.
They impact us, inform us, and inspire us.
They build bridges and tear down walls.
They connect you with me.
They reveal us.
Every mom, dad, and grandparent who walks through the doors of The Diaper Train has a story to tell. It’s an invitation to learn, to understand, and to relate to one another – a window to see how much we’re alike rather than how much we differ.
Martha* has been coming to The Diaper Train since it opened in 2011 to receive diapers and wipes for the younger of her 6 children. Trained as a Licensed Practical Nurse, the single mother dreams of the day when she can get back to work, but caring for her two special- needs children (the youngest of whom was conceived while Martha was on the Depo-Provera shot) is a full-time job. Every day that Martha drives her 2-year old to seemingly endless medical and therapy appointments is another day that she can’t work, and this has left her strapped for cash. She can’t afford the kind of child care that her youngest special-needs child requires, and she can’t burden her older children with the responsibility of caring for him. “There are days that all I want is to get back to work and earn a living,” Martha laments, but because she’s a loving mother to her children, she knows that caring for them is the most important thing she can do. And that’s where The Diaper Train has stepped in to make Martha’s life a little easier. She knows that we will provide her children with a reliable supply of diapers, so she can focus on meeting their many other needs.
Cynthia*, the single mom of a 1 year-old boy, depends on The Diaper Train in what she calls “a season I’m just passing through right now.” Studying to be a teacher, she lives a very simple life on a very strict budget, just trying to make ends meet. Cynthia could be one of us – someone we’d never know is struggling to provide for her son. In this moving letter, she explains why she sees The Diaper Train as “God’s provision to meet a real, daily need.”
Please take a moment – perhaps the next time you are changing the dirty diaper of your own child, grandchild, niece or nephew – to reflect on the real life scenarios of Diaper Train recipients.
Look beyond the grim facts and figures. Look beyond the poverty stricken families who only change their child’s diaper one time per day or re-use disposable diapers because they cannot afford the never-ending cost of diapers.
I think that often times, it is easier to overlook these scenarios because you simply cannot relate to the situation.
While this scenario may be true for some families, it does not paint a complete picture of the need.
My one year old son is a recipient of diapers from Diaper Train. I am a single mom who is currently studying to be a teacher. My son and I live on a very tight budget. I do not live beyond my means. I do not drive a fancy car. Nor do I have cable TV. With that said, I do not live in the ghetto. I am your neighbor. I might sit next to you at church. We shop at the same grocery store (albeit, you’ll never find me doing so without my coupons). We visit the same library. Our children play at the same park.
I am not a person who believes I am an entitled to help. It is humbling to ask for help – but, when faced with the fact that you cannot afford to provide all the diapers you need for your child – you ask for help. I view Diaper Train as God’s provision to a very real, daily need I have for my son.
This is not a way of life. This is simply the season I am walking through right now. One day, I will be where you are, in a position to make a real difference to a family who needs diapers.
My story is not unique. I am one of many. Too many families are struggling right now. Job loss. Battling an illness without medical insurance. Both parents working full-time at minimum wage and still unable to make ends meet.
So, once again, I ask that you take a moment to reflect on who you are helping. My family is not so different from your family. We are just experiencing a different season in life right now.
Please take the time and invest the money for a case (or 2 or 3) of diapers to meet a real need in your community.
A Grateful Single Mom
Do you see how the power of the story cuts across race, age, and socio-economic boundaries and levels the playing field? We really are all together in this!
With your help, we can continue to provide moms like Martha* and Cynthia* with the diapers they need to keep their little ones healthy.
Won’t you show your support today?
Click here to link to our Amazon wish list!
*Names changed to protect privacy
The Diaper Train: Changing Diapers, Changing Lives