Mother’s Day is here again! For many of us, Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate the love we share with our children and to celebrate and honor our own mothers and grandmothers. I hope that this Sunday you will be surrounded by the women and children whom you love and that joy abounds in your heart and in your home.
For so many mothers in St. Louis, this Mother’s Day will not be a day of celebration, but yet another day of sadness, struggle, and frustration. One in three St. Louis moms will wake up on Sunday morning, not to breakfast in bed, but to the gut-wrenching reality that she doesn’t have what she needs to provide for the needs of her child. She will wake up knowing that the money just isn’t going to go far enough and she will have to make tough choices for her family – between keeping the lights on and keeping the kids fed, between paying rent and paying for medicine, between buying gas to get to work and buying the diapers her child seems to go through so quickly. This mother will not be serenaded with the chorus of her children’s happy voices, but will endure her baby’s cries with the knowledge that if she just had a diaper she could ease her child’s pain.
At the St. Louis Area Diaper Bank, our one desire is to make sure that mothers in St. Louis don’t have to endure the pain of knowing that they can’t take care of one of their baby’s most essential needs – a clean diaper. Because of the work the Diaper Bank is doing, the mothers of nearly 1200 St. Louis children this month alone will be able to rest a little easier knowing that they have the diapers they need.
I founded the Diaper Bank because I know what it’s like to be that mom – who wonders how she’ll get through the month, how she can possibly make ends meet, and what she will say to her children when the coffers run dry and the pantry is empty. I have wept on Mother’s Day because of the sinking feeling that I wasn’t cutting it as a mom, because I felt guilty for not being able to provide for my children’s needs. I made it through because I had a strong support system - a family and a church community who provided for so many of my needs. I know that without all the help I received from that support system that I would not be where I am today. The Diaper Bank was created to be a piece of the support system that serves moms in need – to be a shelter from the storm, to be a reminder that no mom is alone.
This Mother’s Day, I’m asking you to remember all those moms in St. Louis who are struggling to provide for their children, who just can’t make ends meet and who are plagued with the sadness that can only come from feeling like you’re unable to care for the ones you love. Diapers may seem like such a small piece of this puzzle, but they represent one of the most fundamental and basic tasks a mother can do for her child – to keep her little one clean. When a mother doesn’t have the resources to take care of her child in this most basic way – to allow her child to survive - how can she possibly think about all the other things that she could do to help her child thrive? I hope that you’ll join me in being a part of the support system for moms in St. Louis who need you to remember them, who need you to remind them that they’re doing a good job and that things will get better.
Consider making a donation to the Diaper Bank today in honor of the women who have loved and cared for you, your children and your grandchildren and to remember the moms who are trying hard this Mother's Day to do the same thing.
With Love and Gratitude,