In an effort to help families with the expenses of having little ones, a chapter of the Rebecca Foundation’s Cloth Diaper Closet has been started in Waterloo.
Susie McGee, a local mother, started the chapter because her husband got injured and affording diapers became a struggle.
The national Rebecca Foundation organization is a cloth diaper lending service for low-income or in-need families across the U.S. and military families stationed overseas.
It’s a stepping stone for families to begin procuring their own diapers after a few are lent to them through the foundation.
The Waterloo chapter has only been up and running for a few weeks, and McGee is reaching out to the community to help spread awareness about the uses and benefits of cloth diapers — along with collecting donations for diaper materials.
“We accept most anything: cloth diapers, inserts, pre-folds, covers, sewing supplies, receiving blankets, fabric, cloth diapering supplies, wet bags…anything that could be used to fix or make diapers,” she said.
The chapters nationwide each serve about a 60-mile radius, with the next closest one being in Murphysboro.
“I really wanted to start something local,” McGee said. “All the chapters are linked together to give each other ideas, but I know our community and many others are in need of help.”
Diapers are loaned to families for a period of one year and can be extended for an additional six months after a yearly review.
McGee said the organization likes to find out as much about the babies as possible before they send out the diapers, including weight and body type.
“When someone contacts us requesting assistance, we direct them to the website where they can find the application,” she said. “Once the application has been submitted, the main chapter will review it and verify all the paperwork.”
Applications can be submitted on the foundation website at www.therebeccafoundation.org. Information about the local chapter is available on their Facebook page by searching “The Rebecca Foundation’s Cloth Diaper Closet-Waterloo.” Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
McGee said she is available to pick up donations, or can meet at a convenient middle point if the donator is farther away.
She said there are only about five or six people currently in the chapter, but she’s hoping it will grow.
The chapter will serve the greater St. Louis area, and McGee said she is also hoping to get to Scott Air Force Base to do a seminar and presentation there.
McGee picked up a donation of 35 diapers this past weekend, and she said she hopes it’s only the beginning.
“You don’t think many people struggle, but it’s right here in our community,” McGee said.