In the last couple weeks a flood of articles, blog posts, and new studies have found their way into my inbox.  They come from lists I’m on and friends who know the work I do.  One good friend sent an article about the connection between poverty and neglect with the subject line, “In case you need another reason to work a 12-hour day J”

The articles and studies are fascinating from both a social science perspective and from a social services one.  Some articles examine new angles on poverty and new research on investments in early learning and family engagement. But, in all honesty, I‘m not sure how many more studies we need.  The latest one to hit my inbox was the Children’s Defense Fund “State of America’s Children 2014” report – it’s a truly heartbreaking read. 

Boil them all down and something singular and simple shines out: babies and children need strong parents with the resources to care for them.  Without those two ingredients children don’t thrive.  Poverty ravages every part of their lives from physical to emotional development, school performance, and likelihood of remaining in poverty.  But here’s the silver lining – we know how to help families. We know that ensuring a family has enough food and essentials (like diapers and medicine!) and knows that they will have food in the future makes a huge difference.  We know that stability in housing creates stability in so many other areas of a family’s life.  And we know that so many people want to help! We can, and we must, do better by our kids.

To that end we have some big announcements in February – a month all about love:

We’re announcing a new campaign: “Peace.Love.Food.Diapers,” to get people thinking and talking about the reality of parenting in poverty and and taking action!  We need to make the connection between maternal/parental stress, lack of resources, and health outcomes for babies and children.  Families need peace of mind and they need food and diapers to be able to provide their small children with the necessary love. Look for blog posts, Facebook/Twitter posts, volunteer opportunities, and action steps around this soon! 

We are bringing on new partners this month – two incredible organizations will join us in this work to ensure all our little ones have what they need to thrive.  Stay tuned to learn who and where…

And finally, we are expanding the items that we both accept and distribute through our new Baby Pantry.  We’ll be announcing the full list of items we accept in March (once all the paperwork is finished!).

So, what’s the first thing you can do? Share the image below on Facebook to show that you support DC Diaper Bank and the work of ensuring all our families are strong ones!