The Sarah Circle of Fountain City United Methodist Church is asking the community to step up for Helping Mamas Knoxville. Helping Mamas works with 30 different agencies in East Tennessee to distribute baby supplies to low-income families: diapers, wipes, bottles, formula, whatever is needed to care for these children. The Sarah Circle decided on a Diaper Drive.
Long time FCUMC member Sarah Greene is the chair of the Sarah Circle (how apropos is that?). She said the drive fits in with the organization’s mission to serve women, children and youth.
“The way we got involved was I heard about Helping Mamas through a friend,” Greene said. “Their mission as a non-profit matches with our mission in our community as well as worldwide.”
Greene explained that diapers are not covered by SNAP benefits and are an expensive necessity. The FCUMC website states that in the first months of life, newborns average 8 to 10 diaper changes per day. And over the first three months, babies go through about 700 diapers. The estimate is that babies go through 3,650 to 4,380 diapers in their first year, with a minimum cost of $1,400. Furthermore, one in three families is in a position of having to choose between diapers and food.
So, Greene said, the Sarah Circle is collecting diapers to help alleviate some of that problem. The distribution is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 12, from 1– 2:30 p.m. at the FCUMC parking lot at 212 Hotel Ave. for any mother or caretaker in need of diapers who can’t afford them.
There are several ways people can donate. The first is to drop diapers of any size off at the church office through end of business Monday, Oct. 11, during regular office hours: Monday-Thursday: 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Friday: 8:30 a.m. – noon. The office is closed for lunch from noon to 1 p.m. Monetary donations can be made online here or by mailing a check to Helping Mamas Knoxville, 121 South David Lane, Suite 1, Knoxville TN 37922. Lastly, donations can be made through Helping Mamas Amazon Wish List here.
Greene cautioned that anyone going the Wish List route should not be put off by the fact the order confirmation shows delivery to Tess Frear instead of the Helping Mamas office.
“She’s the executive director, so deliveries go to her home,” Greene said. “There isn’t always someone at the office to accept them. No one needs to be worried about that, it’s not a scam.”
Greene said the church office is filling up rapidly and that her own extra bedroom has quite a few ready to go. She also said partial packages of diapers will be accepted.
“We’ll take opened packages and repack them,” she said. “Sometimes you have that toddler who decides today he’s going to put his big boy pants on and you don’t need those diapers anymore.”
So, please, friends, neighbors, countrymen, bring’em on.
To learn more about the FCUMC mission go here.
To learn more about Helping Mamas Knoxville go here.
Beth Kinnane is the community news editor for KnoxTNToday.com