When Clear Charity’s first #DiaperGap open hour block was set for 5/25/2016, I was super nervous. This was a big step for us in our effort to start Closing the Diaper Gap. I worried that we may not have enough diapers (on the first day, we had 10 boxes of diapers, 2~4 packs of diapers per box). I put up a sign in the lobby so people could find their way and took packs of diapers out of their boxes in order to make it easier for me to hand it to them. I also created a price chart and put it on the wall, plus prepared an application so they can fill it out without waiting.
All was set at 12pm Wednesday… and the door was open for the first #DiaperGap hour ever!
However, that was pretty much all the excitement for that day. Despite of some interest we got from Craigslist & other online lists, we did not get a single visitor. And this continued through first 7 open hours we tried. I started to think maybe people are happy with whatever they are paying for their Diapers and the whole Closing the Diaper Gap issue was just publicity and not really something that’s needed.
But on the 8th scheduled open hour, everything changed.
As I was sitting there full of skepticism and thought of how much longer we will continue this effort with no result, our first visitor arrived! We had a total of two visitors who currently are part of the WIC program. One of the ladies who came in shared that people get very cautious when a new location/program is available that offers free or discounted supplies. She mentioned that she was discussing with other people about our program while she was at the WIC office. According to her, she volunteered to check us out because she needed diapers and she was asked by others for feedback afterwards. In fact, she asked for 10 of our business card in order to share it with others who might need this program.
In order to gauge our program, we asked participants how much they are spending on diapers, on average?
One of the ladies shared that she’s used to paying ‘$23 for pack of 36 diapers’. That’s 63 cent per diaper.
I remember this lady walked out with two arm fulls of diapers and a big smile on her face. Her exact words when she realized how many diapers she got for her $7 was ‘Oh my, that’s so many!’ At Clear Charity, we take the Closing the Diaper Gap program one step further than just allowing visitors to buy at wholesale cost. We offer a 50% discounted price for those who are part of low-income programs such as WIC. So for her, she got 100 diapers at 7 cent per diaper = only paying $7, truly Closing the Diaper Gap.
For full details of our program: Close The Diaper Gap program
Since then, we have had a few more people coming in and we are continuing our work in Closing the Diaper Gap. We are now in discussion with volunteers and a local shopping mall to do fun events to raise funds & collect more diapers. And with some luck & hard work, we think we can continue this program indefinitely: Closing the Diaper Gap, one pack at a time.