I'm going to be 100 percent straight up about this: Having a blog, that people actually read and seem to enjoy (I occasionally really DO get an email from someone saying they have had their day brightened/conscience soothed/LIFE CHANGED by this website, I SWEAR IT) (ok, so maybe not the life changing part, ONE CAN DREAM) is pretty awesome. So is the fact that I've made an umpteen number of connections with other parents and people, many of whom I've gotten to hang out with in PERSON, and some of whom have become some of my closest and most treasured friends.
There's also that whole thing about how this blog – this little bitty corner of the Internet – has occasionally done way more than list all the things that are annoying about House Hunters/toilet paper commercials/children who barf repeatedly on long car rides... this blog has helped people. I'm sure most of you remember our friends Katie and Brian Mandell, who lost their sweet daughter, Emily, to brain cancer a couple of years ago. It was because of this blog and the amazing, wonderful help of people who read and comment and took action that we raised close to $60,000 to help them cover their medical costs, including, most heartbreakingly of all, many expenses related to Emily's funeral and burial. Sixty thousand dollars, you guys. That's staggering and mindblowing and humbling, too, because I really think that there are people out there who want to help people, but just don't know how or where to give.
Blogging, for me at least, is most definitely about a sense of community – and I love it best when that community can do something unexpected and inspired for people who might never have imagined it would be possible. And it is happening more often than ever, all over the Internet. I love that something as big as the Internet is still able to narrow down into thousands of little communities that can help each other out, you know?
Anyway, all that to say that I was approached by Huggies® a few weeks ago to see if I was interested in becoming a blogging ambassador for their Every Little Bottom campaign. And once I heard what the program entails and what this company is trying to do, I signed on immediately, and I am super excited to be a part of something else GOOD and HELPFUL and HOPEFUL on the Internet. Is there anything better than being able to use your (somewhat limited, but go with me on this) powers for something GOOD? To possibly help improve someone's (or many someones) life/lives? To maybe be able to change things for people, even if it's just one little bitty step at a time? YES YES YES. Of COURSE.
Here's the thing, Huggies did an extensive survey in 2010 (real research conducted by a research and strategy organization) that found that one in three American moms have struggled with diaper need. That means that one-third of moms in this country have either sacrificed other needs like clothes, food or medications to provide diapers for their children, or have been forced to do things like extend the amount of time their children stay in one diaper or even clean out and reuse soiled or wet disposables. Moms who are short on diapers can't take their kids out to run errands, or go to work, or to doctor appointments. And this is reality for millions of American moms. MILLIONS, you guys. Poverty and hardship is real in this country, and it breaks my heart that there are women out there who only want to mother their children the best way they can, and yet, they can't.
You know the guilt we feel for feeding our babies jarred baby food instead of freshly prepared organic? Or the stress we create wondering if we haven't signed our preschoolers up for the best schools/soccer camps/swim lessons? I'm not saying those things aren't important or are to be completely discounted, but just imagine the guilt you would feel as a mom if you were unable to put a fresh, dry diaper on your baby. Imagine it. It would feel awful; it would feel demoralizing and depressing and hopeless and embarrassing. It would feel like failure.
So last year, in an attempt to do something about what amounts to a staggeringly common problem, Huggies donated 22.5 million diapers to food banks and other charitable organizations that were distributed to needy moms around the country – but they want to do even more this year, and not only do I think that's amazing and commendable, but I am honored to be asked to assist. I'm not sure exactly where this journey will take me, but I am thrilled to be tasked with getting the word out about the Every Little Bottom program, and with the chance to help Huggies raise awareness as well as more diaper donations to be distributed to those who could use our help.
The Internet is a fantastic tool for doing good in this world, it just needs some people to channel some of that good, charitable energy directly into a needy cause. I am here to do just that.
Disclosure: I have partnered with the Huggies® brand to help promote the Huggies® Every Little Bottom program. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program, which includes writing about it here. However, my opinions are entirely my own.