She and other WCC volunteers spent five hours on Sunday to ask for community donations at the second annual Northern Nevada Diaper Drive at the Kietzke Lane Wal-Mart.
The fundraiser ran from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. As of the midpoint of the drive, the group hadn’t even collected close to the amount of diapers as it did last year. Kate High, the center’s director, was hoping for 15,000. At 2 p.m., she counted only 3,000.
“We started off really well this morning,” High said. “We had a car club, the Rollers Only, stop by and give us a lot of diapers.”
The diapers will be distributed to the Northern Nevada Diaper Bank.
The group of volunteers on Sunday sought to help what has always been a critical need for families and is now being accentuated by the economy and the plight of the unemployed, High said.
“Some people live like this all the time,” she said. “They don’t have the proper sanitary facilities. ... People living in shelters don’t have the capability otherwise (to provide frequent changes for their babies).”
According to a press release from the center, an infant uses about 12 diapers a day. A toddler may use eight. The monthly cost for disposable diapers on average is $100. Families working full-time at minimum wage may gross $302 per week, or $1,216 per month.
One in four Nevada children, the release states, are living in poverty.
Poor economic conditions may force families to keep their children in one diaper all day long and that potentially leads to serious health problems, such as a rash or hepatitis B, later on. High said it is also considered child abuse if the child is not properly cared for and given its basic necessities.
“The baby is left sick and crying and that’s at-risk child abuse,” High said.
The center offers an array of services for families, including classes and items for children, to help them “rebuild their lives,” High said.
“We want them to be stable and self-sustaining,” she added.
The program costs $1 per week for members to have access to as many diapers as they need. Non-members may collect 25 percent of what they need.
“It’s rewarding because we can help,” said volunteer Nery Salas of Reno.
Salas dedicates about 40 hours a week to helping out at the center. Volunteers have to give a minimum of 20 hours.
“I like that we get to help out the community, especially Hispanics and African (Americans),” Salas said, who added that she has several cousins in her family with children and need as much as help as they can get as well.
The center provides services where other organizations often are limited, according to the press release.
For more information, contact High at 772-1267.