LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Imagine a mom limiting her toddlers to just three diapers a day even rinsing them out to make them last longer. It's a reality for many Arkansas parents.
Huggies did a study back in 2010 and found that 1 in 3 families struggle to provide diapers for their children, and many parents can't take their child to daycare because they can't afford the required diapers. That's why THV is once again teaming up with the Arkansas Rice Depot to help families in need--families like the Blantons.
Once or twice a week, you can find 20-year-old Carissa Blanton and her 25-year-old husband Josh at New Beginnings Pregnancy Resource Center in Benton.
"The struggles. It's a money situation and food, the economy is hard," explained Carissa.
The young couple recently welcomed their second child. Jaiden is just weeks old, and his 1-year-old sister is Hailee.
Josh believes New Beginnings is a blessing.
"It's a godsend really. I really is because we'd be in a lot more trouble without it." he said.
Along with clothing, food, parenting and bible study classes for families, New Beginnings also provides much needed diapers.
"Tons, she goes through...He definitely goes through a lot," added Carissa.
Carissa is a stay at home mom, and Josh works 12 hour shifts as a certified nursing assistant. Being a single income family at times can be tough.
"At this point we've seen over 200 families this year, last year we saw 277 families," said Kim Puska, director at New Beginnings "The diaper need is big. Our families sometimes just aren't making enough to buy diapers, which are about $20 a box, and so they can come here into our center and get 20 diapers a week for free."
Puska said they get their diapers through donations, but their biggest supplier is the Arkansas Rice Depot's Diaper Depot. New Beginnings is 1 of 27 diaper depots across the state. Without it, Puska said even more families and babies would suffer.
"I think we would have babies that would be going a lot of time without getting a diaper change, and that's just not good for them, good for their health and it's not sanitary," added Puska.
In July alone, she said close to 300 girls visited the center. That's 6,000 diapers they gave away in one month, and sometimes the diaper bins are empty.
"We have several girls that actually need size 4 diapers, and they can get size 3 but they're too tight for the babies or size 5's are too big, so they just don't get any," explained Puska.
On this day, the Blantons are grateful that there are diapers for them. They feel blessed to know the kindness of strangers, New Beginnings and the Arkansas Rice Depot's Diaper Depot.
"Even if you don't have much to give, giving a little can make a difference in somebody's life," said Josh Blanton, and it certainly has for this family.
The Blantons try to give back when they can, and you have a chance to help, too! The 3rd annual THV Diaper Drive benefiting the Rice Depot is about to kick off. Join Liz Massey and her son Cruz, they'll be live Tuesday, Sept. 10 collecting diapers and dollars at the Cabot Walmart from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Then on Sept. 17, they'll be at the Bryant Walmart, and the final drive will be Sept. 24 at the Conway 65 North Walmart.
All kinds and sizes of diapers are welcome.