Diapers. For most people, diapers are not thought about all that often. For Scott Gubala, though, diapers are a daily topic of concern.
Gubala, administrative assistant for the Catholic Charities Pregnancy Counseling and Adoption Services Department, known to many as Caring Choices, oversees the program's material assistance efforts to help low income families in need with young children.
As part of the recent National Diaper Need Awareness week efforts around the country, Catholic Charities sponsored a diaper drive in Middle Tennessee.
"We were amazed at the very generous response of the Nashville community," said Donna Thomas, Pregnancy Counseling and Adoption Services Department director. "We received slightly more than 13,250 diapers through this initiative!"
"Every month we distribute about 3,500 diapers," explained Gubala. "That is equivalent to providing 70 babies with the diapers they will need to be clean and dry for a full month."
Families in need can receive help with diapers, as well as other baby essentials such as wipes, clothing and formula, every three months, he added.
Donations were received from Harris-Teeter in Belle Meade, Target on White Bridge Road, St. Henry Church, Holy Rosary Church, Christ the King School, St. Edward School fifth and sixth grade classes, Nashville Diaper Connection, Catholic Charities staff, and a few anonymous individuals who purchased diapers through an Amazon.com gift registry page set up specifically to support the on-going diaper needs of the program (www.amazon.com/gp/registry/VU-4VYU3UO085/ref=cm_sw_em_r_ws_Delksb0K4KJQA_wb).
"Our material assistance program exists only because of the generous support of groups, churches and individuals," Gubala said.
"The overwhelming response to our diaper drive plea was due to people responding to the reality here in Nashville of one in three families struggling to provide clean diapers for their children, that government programs (WIC and food stamps) do not assist with diapers, that cloth diapers are not allowed in day care centers or laundromats and that diapers are essential to the health and well-being of mother and child," Gubala concluded.
"It's my hope that just as people understand the need for a local food bank, they will also see the need for a local diaper bank."