Belly Bootcampers Give Back!

Phew... this week is a bit crazy.  We just got back from a New Year's trip to Ottawa and are headed out of town on a mommy-and-daddy-only vacation on Friday.  In between, I'm trying to process new clients who want to kick off 2011 with one-on-one personal training or by joining one of our fitness classes for modern mommies.  I'm also preparing to leave my preschooler and toddler for 8 days, which adds a whole other dimension of stress to this week. My head is spinning. But it stopped spinning for just a few minutes today when I had the delight of dropping off 90 pounds of diapers to the Daily Bread Food Bank in Toronto.

First of all, credit where credit is due.  I had been planning a Belly Bootcamp holiday food drive until I read Candace Derickx's blog entitled "How to Host a Diaper Drive." I learned that many Canadian mothers struggle to afford diapers for their babies.  Mothers who live in my own city, even my own neighbourhood, are going without in order to find money to diaper their little ones.  This is an issue that is so alarming but also one I've never considered before - have you?

What could be more perfect for a group of expecting and new mommies than to donate diapers?  We held the first annual Belly Bootcamp Holiday Diaper Drive in December, and the mommies in training came through!

This morning I dropped off over 1,800 diapers, all collected in about 4 days in the week before Christmas.  My heart soared every time a Belly Bootcamper dropped off her contribution.  One mommy even brought in 5 packages, one for each size her daughter had grown through already.  Their generosity was amazing.

Here I am, counting and organizing the diapers before dropping them off:

And here's what I learned:

  • 1 in 5 Canadian mothers struggles with diaper need, re-using dirty diapers, leaving baby in soiled diapers longer than one normally would, and cutting into her budget for food and personal products simply to afford diapers.  When my son fills his pants, I think"seriously?...right now?!" I am one of the lucky ones.
  • nothing makes the holidays feel more special than finding an extraordinary way to come together with others and make a difference for your fellow human beings
  • a diaper drive is EASY to do and drop-offs can even be made at local grocery stores - contact your local food bank to inquire
  • a diaper drive is EASY to find support for; although I did hear one bit of criticism with regard to the purchase and use of disposable diapers (instead of cloth), I think it is important we realize that issues of environmental consciousness are often a luxury of the wealthy.  If I couldn't afford diapers, I wouldn't give a @$*^! (pardon the pun) about contributing to landfills.  Disposables are usually the most accessible form of diaper for those with a low income - no investment or laundry machines required.
  • when you're a mom and you need a hand, ask your fellow moms.  They will come through.

You don't need a big group - why not turn your next girls' night, dinner party or family get-together into a diaper drive?

Read the Huggies "Every Little Bottom" study and find out how to get involved.

Visit the Food Banks of Canada and make a donation online.