Mother's Day is this Sunday, and while we're sure your mom can't wait to spend some quality time with you, one organization is hoping you'll do a little more than shell out for brunch and a movie with your own maternal unit. Bay Area microcharity Help a Mother Out was formed when two local mothers — one of whom is former Bitch editor and eternal Friend of Bitch Rachel Fudge — began hearing about the growing numbers of homeless women and children in the state, and the difficulty of women's centers and shelters in affording diapers and other hygiene necessities.
As it turns out, public-assistance programs for low-income women, like WIC, don't cover diapers; diaper companies also don't donate their products to women's shelters and drop-in centers. What does this mean? Well, diapers are spendy: Disposables run about $15-$20 for a package of about 30, and infants go through 40 or 60 of those bad boys per week; cloth diapers, while cheaper, are also far more laundry-intensive and thus aren't an option for many families). Babies and children whose families are strapped for cash are often spending too much time in one diaper, which puts them at risk for disease; no diapers also means no childcare — subsidized care requires properly-nappied young'uns — and no childcare means less opportunity for parents to look for and attend jobs.
So that's the poop — for many women, something as simple as a diaper is a crucial tool in breaking the cycle of homelessness. To participate in HAMO's Virtual Diaper Drive, go to their site, check out the online wishlists of a bunch of California shelters and organizations aiding low-income and homeless women and kids, and send them some Mother's Day love in the form of diapers or wipes — or, for that matter, other understocked hygiene products like tampons and deodorant. Donate before midnight on Friday, May 8th, and HAMO will e-mail you a very cool Mother's Day card that you can forward on to the special mother in your life. (Bonus: It's designed by Briar!) So go on, make your mom proud, and make another mother's life better.