Machinists collecting diapers for families in need

DiapersFinalSEATTLE — Volunteers with Machinists Union District Lodge 751 will once again help women and families in crisis by collecting diapers and baby wipes.

The union’s second annual diaper drive has been extended one week, until 5 p.m. April 7. Union and community members can drop off donations at any IAM 751 union hall in Puget Sound, and at a number of participating businesses.

The diapers and wipes will be distributed to families living in domestic violence shelters, and to organizations that help low-income families:

“We’re trying to make a difference, one tushy at a time,” said Rob Curran, the chairman of the Machinists Volunteer Program, which is the community service arm of District 751.

Last year, union members contributed more than 15,000 diapers and close to 3,000 baby wipes.

“We’d like to increase those numbers this year,” Curran said. “This is certainly a situation in which more is better.”

Advocates say diapers are a critical item for families trying to escape from domestic abuse or get themselves out of poverty. Infants can routinely soil 10 to 12 diapers a day, while toddlers can use up to eight. The cost — between $100 and $120 a month — is not covered under any social safety net programs, and as a result, about a third of low-income mothers report running out of clean diapers regularly.

To cope, many mothers end up keeping soiled diapers on their babies longer, which leads to rashes, infections and other health problems, and babies who cry because their diapers are soiled are more likely to become abused.

“All of us who are parents understand how important diapers are,” said IAM 751 President Jon Holden. “Our union is committed to making things better for all our neighbors, especially the littlest ones.”

Originally formed in 1935 by hourly workers at the Boeing Co., District Lodge 751 of International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers now represents more than 33,000 working men and women at 52 employers across Washington and California.

Follow IAM 751 on Twitter.






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