The Diaper Project: Helping families |

The Diaper Project: Helping families

Submitted to the union
by SHIRL Mendonca

Photo for The Union by John Hart
John Hart | The Union

Hundreds of young families in the Nevada County area are struggling to have enough money for diapers for their babies. The Nevada County Diaper Project, started by Lake Wildwood resident Cathy Fagan, is at the ready to help these mothers and make it easy for you to help them, also.

Cloth diapers are not an option for most of these families because many do not have access to washers and dryers where they live, many public Laundromats frown on washing diapers, and most day care facilities now require disposable diapers. In 2010, a survey was commissioned by Kimberly-Clark Company, makers of Huggies, of more than 2,000 parents with young children. It found that “one in three mothers in the U.S. report cutting back on basic essentials like food, utilities or child care in order to afford enough diapers for their children.” Twenty-six percent of those surveyed were living below the poverty line, while another 32 percent expressed financial hardship.

You can help. It costs nothing, and it is easy.

The Diaper Project is partnering with the Holiday Market across from Lake Wildwood. If you have already signed up to receive WOW reward points at Holiday, just ask the checkout clerk to give your points to The Diaper Project when you go through the checkout line. You can donate each time you make a purchase; for every 1,000 points you donate, The Diaper Project receives $20 in-store credit to buy diapers. How easy is that?

If you haven’t signed up to receive WOW points at Holiday Market, just tell any checkout clerk that you want to join, and it is done right there when you pay for your groceries. It only takes a few minutes. You will receive a card that you will need to activate from your phone. All family members can use the same card as long as they reference the phone number on the card.  

Nevada County Diaper Project is an all volunteer organization. In addition to Cathy and her husband, Bill, six additional volunteers help to collect, wrap and deliver diapers to the different distribution centers: Interfaith Food Ministry, Pampered Earth, Family Resource Center of North San Juan, Family Resource Center of Penn Valley and Women of Worth. Mothers needing diapers just need to go to a distribution center and show proof of county residency. Additionally, The Diaper Project supplies diapers to Child Advocates of Nevada County and the Miners Clinic. 

Demand for diapers in our county is growing. When the program started in 2009, it distributed about 200 diapers each month. Thanks to Cathy, Bill, the volunteers and community donors, it now distributes 3,500 diapers a month to hundreds of families with many more families in need. You can make a difference by simply donating your WOW points at the Holiday Market checkout counter.

Got a tip about someone or something in Lake Wildwood or Penn Valley? Contact Shirl Mendonca at

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