So here's the math, according to the Huggies website:
1 in 3 American families struggle to provide enough diapers for their child.
Again, according to their own website, as many as 1 in 20 mothers have been forced to clean out soiled diapers and reuse them. I have heard of mothers letting wet diapers dry and reusing them, but this is the first I have heard of a parent removing feces from a disposable diaper, presumably wiping it out or maybe rinsing it (?) and reusing it.
Basically, we have people who are using disposable diapers the same way they could be using cloth diapers. Only, inexpensive prefolds can be washed thoroughly and reused safely.
So, what's the solution?
Apparently, YOU should buy more Huggies!
I noticed that on many, if not all, packs of Huggies have a banner on them for the Every Little Bottom program, stating that your purchase = a donation. But I searched the pack (we use Huggies at night, mostly because coupons are usually readily available so they are cheaper and work a lot better than the eco-friendly options we would ideally prefer) and couldn't find any details. So what kind of donation is made? According to their website…wait, I can't find it there, either.
If you can find it, please let me know. But I read a blog that is affiliated with the program and according to that blog (which I won't name because they are sponsored by this program), if you purchase a pack of the demin print diapers, Huggies will donate ONE diaper to the cause.
I have only ever see the Huggies denim print diapers in cases, never in jumbo packs, so that means that for something like 50-60 diapers purchased, ONE is donated. SO generous, Huggies. You are making such a difference for those 1 in 3 families.
They are also peddling donations on their website, and one way to add to their donations for FREE is to upload a picture of your child…in a Huggies denim diaper. Every facebook like also adds to the count. So far, they claim to have donated 7,670 diapers through this aspect of their program. Not too shabby, but when you see that they have a banner on their website that says they have donated 22.5 MILLION diapers so far, you have to wonder. Digging deeper, their website says they will donate 22.5 million diapers in 2010. Uhm. That was last year? We are more than halfway through 2011, so I can't help but wonder why they haven't updated that.
Another way to donate? Buy a pack and donate it to a local diaper bank. They'll even help you find one…if you register on the website.
I'm not fundamentally opposed to donating disposable diapers to those in need. Not even a little. I'm not naïve enough to believe that cloth diaper education can make enough of a difference for people who are struggling, although in an ideal world, it would be a lot easier for anyone to walk into a store and buy good quality cloth diapering supplies. I'd be happy to see Indian or Chinese prefolds and some decent covers are Babies R Us, but that's not likely to happen any time real soon. I get asked all the time whether I use the "gerber kind" of cloth diapers, so I know most people have no idea that there are so many better options out there. And, honestly, if I didn't own my own washer and dryer, I would likely not be able to use cloth diapers. So I have to assume that cloth isn't a viable option for at least some of those who are having trouble buying enough diapers.
I am fundamentally opposed to telling mothers a sob story in order to sell a product. This is exactly what Huggies is doing. They know that women who have children in diapers will instantly feel for an imaginary mom out there, scooping poo out of a diaper and reusing it. They know that most moms out there would be heartbroken to feel they are unable to change their child's wet diaper as often as they would like and will feel a great deal of compassion for the 1 in 3 women who have no choice.
I wonder if Huggies is also making donations of Pull-ups. That's probably a good way to keep children whose families can't afford enough diapers in diapers for as long as possible.
The saddest thing to me is that is was not Huggies' idea. They didn't come up with it. Diaper drives have been going on for several years and Huggies was donating a ton of diapers to many drives around the country. I liked that about Huggies. Then they decided to not only embrace this concept, but claim it as their own and in all likelihood they aren't donating any more than they were before. But I bet business is boomin'.