LYNN — As a single mother of two, Shaneya Tate of Lynn sometimes struggles with the cost of diapers for her 11-month-old daughter Jessenia Llano. However, with the help of a diaper drive from Lynn’s Children’s Friend and Family Services, a division of the Justice Resource Institute, Tate is able to get the diapers her daughter needs.
“It means so much,” Tate said. “Times get hard and to have this works out perfect for us.”
Tate was one of about 1,000 people who reached out to receive diapers for their children according to Lynn site director Joy Richmond-Smith.
“It’s very popular and there is a lot of need,” she said. The diaper drive started in January 2017.
One in every three families reports experiencing diaper need and children without a steady stream of diapers are exposed to health risks according to the National Diaper Bank Network.
“Diapers are something you cannot buy with DTA (Department of Transitional Assistance) assistance so there’s not much support and people struggle,” Richmond-Smith said.
Families can receive donated diapers in bundles of 10 or sometimes 20 at a time, but at some times the amount of diapers are too low to help.
“It’s been really hard to keep diapers up,” Richmond-Smith said.
Over the past year the program has expanded with multiple partners including drop off locations at Aspire Developmental Services at 176 Franklin St., Lynn and Lynn Economic Opportunity at 156 Broad St., Lynn.
Also, to help with the lack of diapers, Children’s Friend and Family Services puts an emphasis on potty training.
“We get less diapers of bigger sizes,” Richmond-Smith said. “So for families with children around two or three and showing signs, we have potty training tip sheets.”
Families interested in receiving aid or have questions can contact Children’s Friend and Family Services’ Lynn site, Richmond-Smith at [email protected] or Ariel Wallen of Aspire Developmental Services at [email protected]