Diapers are a ‘blessing,’
young mother says

Kayla Gallahar was photographed at the Little Way Pregnancy Resource Center with her infant daughter. (Photo by Byron Butler)

Kayla Gallahar, a young mother of three, said having diapers for her seven-month-old daughter feels like a blessing. It’s one less thing she needs to worry about when she receives a supply of diapers from the Little Way Pregnancy Resource Center.

“I don’t have to worry about that. It’s like clockwork. They check in every month,” said Gallahar.

Little Way is one of 16 local agencies that receive diapers from the St. Bernadette Diaper Bank.

A lack of diapers is a reality and a constant worry for many low-income mothers, said Deanna Hornback who, along with her husband Chris Hornback, is the founder of the St. Bernadette Diaper Bank based at the East Louisville parish of the same name.

Since starting the diaper bank in 2013, Hornback said the need has only increased. Last year, agencies requested more than 260,000 diapers, but the bank could only provide 137,000, she said.

“We’re only taking care of one percent of the need in Jefferson County,” said Hornback in a recent interview.

Little Way handles about 500 visits a year from parents who need assistance with baby care items, said Ellen Wichmann, who serves as the center’s executive director.

“Diapers are a critical need. You have to have clean diapers. If you have young children, you know that in a day they can go through many,” she said.

Gallahar noted that diapers aren’t only expensive, but it’s difficult to find donations in size three, which is her infant daughter’s size. She’s able to get the size she needs from the center, she said.

Gallahar recalled a day when she forgot her diaper bag at home and how it felt to not have any diapers available. It’s a feeling she’s glad she doesn’t live with daily as some moms do, she said.

“My family is blessed because of the community we have in Little Way,” Gallahar said.

Though the center is meeting material needs, “We’re also meeting them with love, support and encouragement,” said Wichmann.

She noted that the center could not do the work it does without the support of the Catholic community, including St. Bernadette Diaper Bank. “We appreciate them so much,” she said. The center purchases car seats and pack and plays, but everything else, including diapers, comes from parishes, schools and the community.

Hornback said the lack of diapers affects many aspects of a family’s life.

First, it affects a child’s health, but it can also affect a mother’s emotional well-being. If a child is constantly crying from a rash developed from being in dirty diapers, the mother is under stress and that impacts her family life, Hornback said.

A lack of diapers also impacts a parent’s ability to find and keep employment.

“A daycare needs a day’s supply of diapers,” she said, adding that if a parent can’t provide the diapers, the child can’t attend. Without childcare, the parent can’t work.

“It should be just as important as food or anything else. … Diapers are what they need to stay clean, dry and healthy,” she said.

Hornback said the bank collects diapers year-round. To learn more or to donate to St. Bernadette Diaper Bank, click here.

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