AP NEWS

Havasu diaper brigade is ready to help young families

May 16, 2019

There are many programs and organizations in Lake Havasu City that are geared toward helping local families raise healthy children. Now there’s another tool in the community chest that can relieve some of the stress placed on families who struggle with diaper need for Havasu’s youngest citizens.

The best part is that the baby diapers are free for the asking. No forms to fill out, no qualifications to meet, no hoops to jump through.

This good news for Havasu families comes from Debbie Zueger, executive director of Pregnancy Care. Zueger leads the nonprofit pregnancy care service center in Havasu. Its ability to give away a week’s worth of free diapers to those who ask is courtesy of a group of women from Lamb of God Lutheran Church in Havasu.

Dolores Swenson and Diane Slattery explained that their group applied for and won a $10,000 grant from Lutheran Women in Mission’s Pacific Southwest District. It’s a one-time grant that can buy thousands of baby diapers, which cost about 30 cents each.

“What moved us to apply for the grant was when Deb mentioned to us how some families she knew reused diapers,” Swenson said. “Reusing diapers is not good idea. Babies get awful rashes and even staph infections if their diapers aren’t changed regularly.”

The free diaper program fills a critical need because federal assistance programs such as WIC or food stamps do not cover diapers. The need is great when considering that a newborn may need 10 fresh diapers or more a day. Older babies up to two years old may need six or more changes, depending on the child’s diet. A family can easily spend $75 a month on diapers, which can be challenging on a tight budget.

Families who need more than the free week’s supply of diapers from Pregnancy Care can turn to the agency for more help through its “Earn While You Learn” program. Like the diapers, it is free for the asking.

“Those who take the weekly classes in ‘Earn While You Learn’ earn points, which they can spend on free clothing, diapers and other baby supplies we have at Pregnancy Care. We welcome those who are pregnant or those who are raising babies,” Zueger said.

The classes last from 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the topic. Students in the ‘Earn While You Learn’ meet one-on-one with Zueger. Children and other family members are welcome to attend each class with the client.

Pregnancy Care is privately funded and has an annual budget of approximately $50,000. In 2018, Zueger hosted 558 classes for clients. Donations of all types are welcome and fundraisers occur occasionally.

“Many church groups and clubs have baby showers for us. They collect a lot of necessities that we can give to families,” Zueger said.

To inquire about the free diaper program or ‘Earn While You Learn,’ call 928-855-2273. The agency is at 1960 Mesquite, Suite D. It is open each Tuesday and Wednesday, 8 a.m.-5p.m.

Pregnancy Care opened a Parker location in March at 601 W. Riverside Dr., Suite 12. It is open Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 928-302-4290 for details.

Pam Ashley can be reached at 928-453-4237, ext. 230 or pashley@havasunews.com.