Quick! Think of a baby you know: Recall the size of their hands, with their tiny fingers and perfect nails. Remember the color of their eyes and the sound of their laugh…

Now, imagine that child trapped in a dirty diaper.

Before joining United Way of Northwest Arkansas, I never knew that 1 out of every 3 parents struggle to afford the diapers their growing child needs.


Let’s make that statistic a little more real:

1 in 3 means you’ve stood in line at the grocery store with a mom or dad who will have to decide whether to buy diapers or the medicine their child needs.

1 in 3 means that you’ve shared a pew at church with a parent who has been skipping meals to save money for diapers.

1 in 3 means there’s a parent you see at the playground who has had to clean out and reuse a diaper.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

In 2011, Kimberly-Clark generously donated 1 million diapers to United Way of Northwest Arkansas’ Diaper Bank. Last year, in the interest of being responsible stewards of that gift, I worked with Kimberly-Clark, Walmart, KNWA and 11 other companies to coordinate and execute a region-wide diaper drive meant to supplement our supply of diapers. In its inaugural year, the “Help Keep ‘Em Covered” diaper drive resulted in the addition of 50,000 diapers to our bank. As with so many United Way initiatives, we could not have achieved this level of success without the openhanded support of our gracious corporate and community partners.

More than 1,100 children rely on United Way’s diaper bank each month. That’s enough babies and little guys to fill 20 school buses! Their need is real and our efforts must be ongoing. This year, we’ll run our second annual diaper drive in May, to align with Mother’s Day. I invite you to get involved:

• Stay tuned to our Facebook page and website for dates and further information about our official “Help Keep ‘Em Covered” diaper drive

• Donate directly to the cause at any time of year by visiting the diaper drive section of our website: https://www.unitedwaynwa.org/diaperdrive

• Or, run your own drive on your own time: We offer a diaper drive tool-kit online that includes a step-by-step guide and all the materials you’ll need to run a drive at your office, school, church, etc.

Together, we can be heroes in the lives of the 800+ families served each month by the United Way of Northwest Arkansas Diaper Bank. For more information, I invite you to contact me directly at our United Way offices:

Ashley Wardlow

Thank you for your support,
-Ashley Wardlow