The story of a mom experiencing homelessness who used cloth diapers.

One morning, as I was enjoying my coffee a number of years ago, I happened to find an incredible story of determination from Anastasia Denton, a mom who, at the time, was without a reliable place to live. She took the time to share her story on my Facebook wall. This post and this mom still encourages me. I wanted to share her story with you too.

Families living on lower-incomes with small children in diapers benefit from access to their own cloth diapers. A sufficient supply of cloth diapers can completely solve the problem of access to diapers for a low income family. Our research shows that moms who have received cloth diapers to help alleviate a problem with diaper access report significantly lower levels of anxiety. These families know that there is always going to be enough diapers to take care of their baby.

Anastasia’s Story

As a complication of my children's father walking out while pregnant with baby #4, my children and I became homeless.  Because I already HAD bought cloth diapers with my previous children I have so far diapered baby #4 for a grand total of $50!!!!!  (yes really)  She is now 19 months old and I only recently had to spend the money on her because she had an infection that necessitated frequent changing and disinfecting.  SO I splurged on trying Flips!  We LOVE them!  Store bought disposables were too harsh and caused more problems.   Flips were GREAT! and since I bought the Stay Day pack we transitioned back to full time Cloth use without breaking a sweat!  But what I loved most.....ALL my children from 13 years down to my 19 month herself could figure out how to manage the system!  WOW!  As for washing  sometimes I have access to my own machine but I found soup kitchens and shelters in some area have programs just for washing laundry!  One shelter without a program even helped out when they found out I was nursing full time as well!  And they had no washing program.  But I was doing what they strive to teach all their clients so they found ways to help me help myself!  And a lot of people learned about Cloth dipes and breastfeeding at the same time!  Thank You! - Facebook post from Anastasia Denton

Cloth Diapers Change Lives

Twenty years ago, a friend sent me cloth diapers so I could take care of my first baby. My husband and I were bringing in one minimum wage income. I was on WIC. We were barely making ends meet and could not buy disposable diapers on our $30 / week grocery budget. Those cloth diapers that I found in a cardboard box on my doorstop not only changed my life, in time, she helped our family to forever change the entire cloth diaper industry through what became our brand family: Cotton Babies, bumGenius, Flip Diapers, Econobum, Elemental Joy, Hemp Babies, MilkDaze, and elemum.

How You Can Help

Our goal is to make cloth diapers accessible, available, and affordable for every family. If you have the resources, consider buying a cloth diaper kit for a family around you. If you don’t know a family who could benefit from cloth diapers, take that kit to a local food bank or homeless shelter. The kit includes a reusable bucket, a wet bag, 12 inserts, and six one-size cloth diaper covers. It doesn’t cost much and the possibilities that are created in that family’s life by solving one problem (access to diapers) will reach far beyond what you can imagine.

Thank you for reading and for caring about those around you. Together, we are changing the world, one cloth diaper at a time.

Love,

Jenn

Jenn is the Founder and CEO of Cotton Babies. She holds an Executive MBA from Washington University. She was awarded Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award in the Emerging Category for the Central Midwest Region in 2011. Among many other awards, she recently received a 2017 YWCA Leader of Distinction Award for Entrepreneurship. Jenn holds many patents on various inventions in a number of different countries and is listed as one of 50 Missourians You Should Know. She is particularly fascinated by languages, chickens, and children (she has four) when she’s not reading economics journals. Jenn offers mentorship to product developers at any stage in the journey from idea to shelf.

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