The Invisible Public Health Crisis

A profound situation: Choosing between feeding your child or changing their diaper.

In the United States, one in three parents have had to make that choice.

Diapers are an essential child care need and a significant expense for families with young children. The National Diaper Bank Network defines “diaper need” as “lacking a sufficient supply of diapers to keep an infant or child clean, dry and healthy.” The average cost of a month’s supply of diapers is between $80 and $100.  Public aid programs for families with low incomes do not provide diapers.

This is why the work we do at First Chance for Children is critical. When we coordinate diaper donations, babies in need have access to clean diapers. However, we also ensure that a large expense is lessened for struggling families, which ensures those babies are fed, clothed and that their parents can get to work. Many times parents have to miss work due to diaper need, as most child care centers require parents provide diapers.  This perpetuates the diaper need cycle.

Here is how you  — and your children or your family or your church or your organization — can support the important work being done by First Chance for Children.


The most basic way you help is by throwing a big box of diapers in your cart during your next grocery or wholesale store run. Then bring your diapers to First Chance for Children at 1102 Fay St Columbia, MO or call us to come pick them up! 

If your child has outgrown their diaper size, we will take those too!  Opened or unopened packages are accepted at First Chance!

If your schedule is crazed, consider a cash donation to First Chance.  Every $100 donated provides 14 children diapers and wipes for a month.  Your contribution goes further as we have access to wholesale diaper prices.


A diaper drive is one of the easiest (and most fun) social good goods-raisers that you will ever coordinate. You can host a diaper drive at your workplace, school or church! You can even choose a diaper drive in lieu of or in addition to a baby shower! You communicate to your group to bring in diapers at a specific date (or date range) and then the coordinator brings them to the diaper bank or organizes a pick-up.

A group event multiplies the diapers generated for children in need, sure. But just as importantly, a diaper drive greatly increases the awareness of this silent crisis.


We welcome — and depend on — volunteers to assist in counting, bundling, packaging and distributing the diapers delivered to others. Many hands are needed to get those diapers out the door and into the hands of families.

We welcome playgroups, moms’ clubs, scouting troops and other organizations to come in to lend a hand. Individual families can drop in to assist, too.


My children loved volunteering their time to help others!  Children can also assist with diaper drives or the simple, beautiful act of adding an extra box of diapers to errands. They have a great time counting diapers for donation and making signs for diaper drives. Other charitable efforts may be tough to convey to children but packaging a diaper that someday soon help a small child stay comfy and dry? That is such a concrete way to communicate the concept of helping others.

To set up a Diaper Drive that you want to host, contact First Chance for Children at 777-1815 or email