Thomas is a delightful 11-year old, who loves being read to. He’s known for his sweet smile that lights his whole body up. He lives with cerebral palsy, and uses a wheelchair to get around.
He was abandoned as a baby. Perhaps his family of origin couldn’t afford healthcare for his special needs. Or, perhaps they didn’t know (or want) to know how to care for him. Sadly, they also may have thought a child with special needs would be a burden or a curse. Or, perhaps he had family members pass away. These are all sad options, and it could be any of these or a different reason all together. No matter the reason, Thomas had a rough start at life as an abandoned special needs orphan.
Fast forward to today, and you’ll find Thomas living a much happier life at Sarah’s Covenant Homes in India. He lives in a family-style foster home with his best bud Valor, and other foster siblings as well. SCH has a dedicated staff of committed caregivers to meet Thomas’ medical, educational and therapeutic care.
This specialized care, for Thomas and the other 162 children at Sarah’s Covenant Homes, comes at a high cost. Many of these children and young adults depend on diapers for basic sanitation and hygiene. This basic need of diapers has come at a high cost, as disposable diapers can cost up to $1,000 per year per child.
At such a high expense, this means that sometimes caregivers are forced to make devastatingly difficult choices between food, diapers, and medical care.
This is where Jake’s Diapers comes in. Founded in 2013, Jake’s Diapers is a nonprofit diaper ministry, providing the basic need of diapers to babies, children, and adults in extreme poverty.
“I believe no caregiver, near or far, should ever have to choose between food, diapers, and medical care”, says Stephanie Bowers, co-founder of Jake’s Diapers. “Our partner agencies (like SCH) are the boots on the ground, and we exist to serve them so they can focus on the amazing, uplifting work that they do, without having to worry about where and how they will get diapers.”
In 2015, the first cloth diapers donated by Jake’s Diapers landed in India, and a pilot project began. The caregivers found the transition to cloth diapers much easier than anticipated. Today’s modern cloth diapers resemble a disposable diaper in ease of use, with the main difference of being washable and meant for re-use.
The financial savings are significant, as Jake’s Diapers donates modern cloth diapers (no pins!) to Sarah’s Covenant Homes at no cost. “With the help of Jake’s Diapers, we are able to save money that can be put towards Thomas’ physical therapist, caregiver, nurse, and everyone else who helps keep Thomas happy and healthy!” says Colleen Williams.
Diapers are an often overlooked, and rarely discussed basic need with deep impact on the health and wellbeing of people. Johnson & Johnson recognizes this, and is passionate about positively impacting global public health through CaringCrowd, their new crowdfunding platform. Together, CaringCrowd and Jake’s Diapers fully funded a project to provide 120 modern cloth diapers to 12 more children at Sarah’s Covenant Homes.
Today, you’ll find Thomas & his best bud Valor rolling around in their wheelchairs sporting modern cloth diapers, donated through Jake’s Diapers. Together, Sarah’s Covenant Homes, Jake’s Diapers, and CaringCrowd are all working together to ensure Thomas & Valor can live life loved, happy and healthy.
With your help, Jake’s Diapers can impact even more children, just like Thomas and Valor. A gift of $113 will provide enough cloth diapers for one more child. $50 will transport a suitcase of diapers. $20 buys a cloth diaper, replacing the need for over 500 disposable diapers. Let’s keep working together to solve diaper need, one cloth diaper, one child, at a time.