ST. PETERSBURG — One in three Bay area mothers will struggle to afford diapers for her children.
Now a St. Pete mom is working hard to fill that void creating one of Pinellas County’s first diaper banks.
Her collection grew from a few donations in her garage to a warehouse now serving 25 non-profit organizations throughout Pinellas County.
“I started with just having friends donate,” said mother of two Torrie Jasuwan. Her charity, BabyCycle, has already distributed nearly a million items, including diapers, baby wipes and other baby supplies.
“I started doing some research and realized there was no diaper bank,” recalls Jasuwan, when she first came up with the idea for BabyCycle. “Diaper need is an issue that is completely overlooked. It’s not something that you see, so it’s not something that you think of as being a huge issue.”
Parents like Queen Burke rely on the donated diapers. Tuesday afternoon she picked up a week’s worth of free diapers, a necessity for her 10-month-old son she might not otherwise be able to afford.
“It would be 30 dollars a box or sometimes more,” said Burke. “It’s not a great feeling at all not to be able to have what you need for your child.”
Baby Cycle distributes up to 10,000 diapers every month through its partner agencies and that only covers about half of the need.
“The requests we get from our agencies are usually well above 20,000,” said Jasuwan.
Part of the reason diapers are in such high demand is the retail price -- 60 bucks a month, per child.
“They don’t realize how expensive diapers are, but unfortunately diapers are one of the only needs not covered by government assistance,” said Jasuwan.
She and her team of volunteers are making it their mission to collect 25,000 diapers in honor of Diaper Need Awareness Week, starting next Monday. Their hope is that no parent will have to worry about their child going without clean diapers.
“Everything he needs comes before a lot of things that’s on my personal list,” said Burke of her son.
The biggest need is for size 3, 4, 5, 6 and pull-up diapers. If you’d like to help you can drop off donations at various collection points across Pinellas County including at our 10News studios through October 2, 2016.