Two months ago I discovered an app called Periscope. I was watching Facebook Mentions with Jaime Greyson, also known as the Baby Gear Guy, and someone mentioned Periscope. So I had to google, what is this thing where Jaime is on Periscope. So I googled, downloaded and followed him, only him. He kept saying hello to two people who were commenting on his Periscopes, Kim Rosas and Jen Apea, who are big Periscope users themselves. Since he knew them by name, I thought I might as well follow them too. So I did, and what happened next changed the way that I saw the world.
Jen Apea is amazingly funny, and brave. She is a small business owner, she has 2 children, one of which is a special needs little guy. She shares her story, she gives to good causes, and she travels with both kids as she ventures across the country to find a new home, and go to conferences. Most of all, she cracks me up and I always try and log in and watch her when she is on Periscope.
Kim Rosas is the reason behind this blog though. She is the inspiration for why I am spending the majority of the last week and today selling everything possible to gather $500 to donate to her goal of $5000. Kim is the Executive Director of Giving Diapers Giving Hope, and it was because of what was supposed to be a secret broadcast on periscope that I learned about her organization. I just followed Kim because her first broadcast I ever watched was about her stolen computer, and I couldn’t help but giggle and laugh the whole time. After that I was hooked, but I never explored her blog, or why she is PeriFamous. Giving Diapers Giving Hope was the reason I thought she was famous, but in reality its Dirty Diaper Laundry, her blog that gets her a following.
Kim Rosas speaks with such a passion about Giving Diapers Giving Hope, and I had to look further into it. I was around when The Cloth Diaper Foundation imploded. I watched as they posted amazing diapers their volunteers got, and they ultimately saw the downfall of the organization. Since then, the Rebecca Foundation and Share the Love (Cotton Babies) came to be, along with them Giving Diaper Giving Hope. What stands out is that GDGH accepts other forms of donations outside of WIC and SNAP paperwork. Not everyone qualifies for WIC and SNAP, but there are a lot of people who are still below the poverty line and struggling to make ends meet. These are not people who are irresponsible with their money, but people who might be making minimum wage and living in a high-cost of living area. They can’t make ends meet, and they can’t make enough to leave. They are stuck. Those people are the ones who need help, those people might not qualify for WIC or SNAP, and those people can only apply to one place, GDGH. That is why they are who I choose to support.
The biggest motivation behind this though is Lanna and Kimmy. Those two, what they have been through in the last 4 years, what I watch them survive and fight for, they are the reason why I want to give to GDGH. Lanna and Kimmy are two of my best friends, and they both have loving husbands, and two beautiful girls each (with one boy on the way for one). They both went through Diaper Need, they went through a lot of need. Luckily for them, they had me and they could call upon me to help them. I bought Lanna both of her diaper stashes for both babies. I knew she was struggling, a husband in school, and she was welcoming a baby and barely making ends meet no matter how many corners she cut. She was on WIC and Food Stamps, and she just couldn’t make ends meet, she was struggling to buy formula because she had issues with nursing no matter how much she tried, and diapers were becoming a last priority. She wanted cloth diapers so bad, but there was no way they could afford it. So I sent her 30 cloth diapers, enough to start a stash comfortably, and she made it work. Her husband loved them, she loved them, and they were able to stop worrying about the little things. Even though they were struggling, they had a washing machine and that itself was a huge help for them in keeping costs down. They had 2 babies during the time that her husband was in school, and they struggled through all 3.5 years of it, even now they struggle month to month, but they are doing a lot better now that he is working, but he has a student loan now, a huge one, and now that is their focus. Diaper Need is real. I saw it everyday with my friends. For years, it was hard to watch, and I was blessed with the ability to not have to worry about costs, so buying diapers for her was not a big deal, and it was the best gift I could give her. Her diapers wore out though, and so I made sure to restock her when Baby #2 came along. We are best friends, her family is like my family, and those girls needed cloth, there was no question about it. Kimmy struggled differently. She struggled in waves, as her husband had a job and lost his job and always during the most inconvenient times. They would plan for a new baby and then hit hard times. It was unfair and I struggled everyday watching her struggle. I sent diapers (disposables) at the time, I sent clothes, I sent basic needs, even bought their crib. I was gifted with the ability to help, and I couldn’t not help her. They made it work, with help, but they inspired me that family is about working together and making things work. She was brave to ask me for help. It was a huge deal, and to humble yourself to ask a friend for help is brave in my mind. My friends, my best friends, who would fly across the country for me, who support me through my struggle with fertility, my heartbreak, they struggled with day to day necessities. They were normal families and people didn’t know about their struggles, but they needed help. Kimmy is now using cloth diapers, I finally talked her into it, which was perfect for her needs now with a new babe on the way.
Giving Diapers Giving Hope is there as an organization to help families like my friends. They didn’t ask, because they didn’t need to. But had they needed to, it would have been there for them. Kim would not have been able to go to other organizations though, and that is a huge reason why I want to support GDGH. Her family makes just enough where they can’t get WIC or SNAP. What would she have done if she needed to apply for diaper need? She would not have been able to apply anywhere else. Luckily GDGH accepts applications based on need, not just on WIC and SNAP and that is amazing, they think outside the box, because families of all kinds can go through rough times, and our government system is sometimes flawed.
I spent the last week trying to reach a goal of $500 to donate to GDGH. I promised Kim I would donate if Fletcher (her son) would tell the world what she loves most, (baby butts!). So $100 was already banked for that. But I wanted to give more. Because I have a crazy stash of diapers, I have too many carriers and unfortunately, we don’t have a child (yet!). So I traded my precious Exclusive Tula with matching accessories for cash for Periscope, and my favorite Smart Bottoms diapers that I was saving for our one day baby, knowing that we don’t have diaper need because I have too many. If Kim Rosas and GDGH for 5 years could come together and help families cloth diaper their babies, and if families out there were struggling just diapering their babies, then it shouldn’t matter what special prints were on my baby’s bum. It’s the inside that matters, not the coloring on the outside. I love clothes anyways, and so I would probably cover the diaper up. Babies don’t know they have an expensive diaper on their butt, all they need to know is that they are loved and can clean out their full tummies. So a tula, a bunch of diapers, and my company bonus went to the Periscopathon to try and help them reach $5000. I am hoping they get to the goal they want. And if its close at the end, I will definitely be throwing in just a few more dollars from my Venti Chai Tea Latte fund.
What did I learn from this experience though? I have too much stuff is one thing I learned from this experience. I am not as attached to my stuff when it means that it is going to a good cause. I held on to those SmartBottoms diapers for our one day maybe baby for a long time, and honestly, its not a need when one diaper could give a family cloth diapers for the lifetime of their baby’s diapering time. That is huge! My hyper focus, had a lot to do with my want to be a mother, but this last week was a reflection of the reality of the world’s situation. If I could afford to give, I needed to do so.
I also learned, I needed to forgive. I ran into someone who I had had bad feelings about during this experience, and even though its been 2 years, I just wrote her off. But we have both changed. We don’t know who the other person is, but judgements needed to be dropped, and I needed to let things go. In the end, she helped me reach a huge goal and reach 50% of my donations. That is huge! So thank you!
Life is full of surprises, life is full of growth, and life is full of seeing the world through other people’s eyes. That is how we learn, that is how we grow, alongside friends, foes, the people who walk into your life. I learned about a great organization this last month. I learned about how quickly I can detach myself from material items to support a good cause, and I was reminded just why I am blessed with friends and family and a life where I don’t live day to day concerned about my next meal. One day, I will welcome a child into my family, and it will be down the road when my child finds a passion for a good cause that I will know I accomplished something great.
Thank you my mother who chairs two big non-profits, who dedicated her time to make sure children around the world had a second chance at life. I know I was bratty when I felt you were gone too often, but today I found one more cause after my heart, and my heart is always full because I see the example in you.
In total, I will just be over $650 in donations to Giving Diapers Giving Hope by the end of all of this, if I can give up a few hundred lattes, I think everyone out there can give fifty-cents. We can do this, as a community, we can give people hope (and Cloth Diapers!).
There is still time, and there is always a chance to help! Visit http://www.GivingDiapersGivingHope.org and support them. $35 is a huge help, and for a lot of cloth diaper folks, that is just one diaper!