Wednesday Sep 19 2012
Diaper donation can go a long way to help Lincoln familiesBy: Patty McAlpin Lincoln News Messenger Reporter
A gigantic diaper donation to the Lighthouse Counseling & Family Resource Center a year ago is depleted but the center continues to collect diapers and baby wipes in an effort to keep helping local families. Because of the amount of diapers donated by Huggies, the center was able to help 1,100 families, according to center manager Rina Rojas. Rojas wrote a grant last year asking for Huggies’ help. By Christmas 2011, 36 pallets of full of diapers, 100,000 of them total, showed up and there was no place to store them. So they were stored at the closed fire station across from the resource center at 427 A St. Volunteers helped hand out diapers during distribution days. One of those volunteers who later on ended up needing help was Lincoln resident Kevin Casebolt. The father of four children ranging in age from 1 to 10 became unemployed following a back injury. The meat cutter of 29 years has been out of work for a year and a half. Costco recently rehired him as a cashier. His wife is a stay-at-home mom. “This resource was a big help to tide us over,” said Casebolt as he played with his 1-year-old daughter Sunny, who gave a stuffed doggie at the center a kiss and then gave her daddy a smooch. Sunny goes through five to six diapers a day. “We’ve been coming to get diapers for six to eight months. It was good to know they had diapers here when we really needed them and not have to maximize the diapers we had was a huge benefit. “A happy baby is a baby that has a clean diaper. They’ll start getting fussy when they’ve got a dirty diaper. She’ll let you know,” Casebolt said. “For our fourth one, Sunny is a blessing. She’s been such a good baby. She hardly fusses.” A job loss was one of the reasons Lincoln resident Randy Campbell started coming to pick up diapers for his 2-year-old twin girls, Talia and Tamia. Campbell said he worked as a manager for McDonald’s for 16 years and made $50,000 a year but child-care issues involving one of his other children from a different relationship cost him his position. He moved to Lincoln three years ago. A friend referred him and his partner, Alisha Edwards, to the resource center. Edwards works as a manager for the McDonald’s on Third Street. “They guided us in the right direction,” Campbell said. “We met Ana (Roa) and Rina (Rojas), Daryl (Morales) and Santiago (Magana). They pointed us in the direction of St. Vincent de Paul, assisted us with our PG&E bills and gave us food vouchers. We were able to do a car seat swap. The girls outgrew their safety seats. They went from infant to toddler. I saw the diapers and asked if we could maybe have some diapers and wipes. For the last couple of months, they have been able to help us out with two boxes of diapers per month. This has been a big benefit. A box of diapers at Walmart is $20 and these are Huggies. This has been a blessing for us in tight times.” Ruth Escobar said she doesn’t know what she would do without help from the resource center. “Mom and Dad and I were homeless and I was nine months pregnant with Tyler when we moved to Lincoln,” Lincoln resident Ruth Escobar said. “We got into an apartment. My brother helped get us off the streets. The center gave us food, diapers and wipes. They helped with Christmas. They gave us everything we needed. I just want to say to them, ‘Thank you for all the love and support for families that are in Lincoln. I wouldn’t be here today without you.’” Tyler will be 3-years-old Sept. 27. The toddler, who has a learning disability, listens intently and asks lots of questions while his grandmother reads a story about his favorite subject in the world - animals. He lives with mother and an extended family of five, including Escobar’s parents, brother and her 13-year-old daughter. “They work with me,” Escobar said. They don’t judge people with disabilities. They just help us with whatever we need.” Lighthouse Counseling & Resource Center is considered a local diaper bank. “When I heard that parents had to choose between diapers or food, I became concerned and I wanted to help,” Rojas said. “I started calling around and found there were no resources. Placer County had The Baby Bank a few years back. After that program closed, there was nowhere for parents to get assistance with diapers. People on public assistance and food stamps can buy candy, but not diapers.” On average, diapers cost $18 a week or $936 a year. The National Diaper Bank Network estimates about 5.7 million infants and toddlers nationwide live in families that may struggle to keep them in clean diapers. Lighthouse invites anyone who would like to contribute diapers and wipes or donations toward its goal of “having every little bottom clean and covered,” to call 645-3300 or visit lighthousefrc.com.