About a week ago we posted a link of interest about a group of grandmothers in Utah who volunteered to make cloth diapers for needy moms in the area. A friend had sent over the link, so we didn't delve too deeply into the site, just reading enough to get a gist of the issue. What we hadn't realized at the time was that this one article is a small part of a continuing debate over cloth versus disposables for low-income families in Salt Lake City...perhaps everywhere since it is a topic that affects communities nationwide. Doing a search on diapers on the Salt Lake Tribune site yields letter after letter either in support of cloth donations to shelters or defense on the use of disposables. Just reading some of the letters makes it clear that parents, whether or children still in diapers or now grown, are quite passionate about the side they choose.
Certainly for the mom with limited resources (no washer or limited funds for a Laundromat), disposables may be the more attractive option. For those who seek to assist parents with a cloth transition to reduce waste, there also comes the responsibility of ensuring they truly have everything they need, including a method for properly washing and drying covers and inserts. If you do go through the archive of articles there, it is heartbreaking to hear how some women have been forced to choose between diapers and food in some situations. Since we don't know every circumstance, of course, it's not our place to judge, but we should be called to help in any way possible.
Does your local charitable organization accept donations of cloth diapers and related accessories? If not, how would assist in educating parents to clean and use cloth diapers in the most efficient and inexpensive way?