In 2004, Mary Noyola was a mother of two children under four-years-old – one being an infant – and felt overwhelmed. She needed help. Luckily for her, and hundreds of other area moms, there was an organization taking root in Southwest Florida that would assist low-income, working families by providing them with a baby essential that most new moms take for granted. Diapers.
Did you know that the cost to provide disposable diapers for one baby can cost up to $80 per month? Did you know that one in three American families reports not having sufficient diapers for their child? And, did you know that there are no state or federal safety net programs in place to provide diapers for children in need?
Baby Basics of Collier County officially opened in 2004, but it actually all started back in 1992. Jean Ann Lynch found that there were moms that simply couldn’t afford to feed and provide enough diapers for their young children. So, she opened the original Baby Basics in New Jersey with a simple goal in mind – to provide
diapers and kindness to babies from low-income, working families.
With this costly necessity paid for, the parents could then focus on loving the child and using their income to provide other basics like food, shelter, and clothes. Soon after the first Baby Basics was formed, people began to take notice and realize that diaper need wasn’t local. It plagues millions of working parents all across the country.
Additional offices opened in Massachusetts, North Carolina, and finally in Naples in 2004. Today, over 30 organizations are modeled after the original Baby Basics program and over 15 are affiliates of the Baby Basics National Development Corporation.
So, when Mary’s baby girl was just a few months old, she became one of the first families referred to Baby Basics of Collier County. Every two weeks, Mary was given a two week supply of diapers and, sometimes more importantly, kindness, during this most stressful time. “Baby Basics made me realize that there are people willing to help you when you need help,” said Mary. “This little organization made such an impact on our lives. By providing diapers for my daughter, we could buy food for both of our kids. It truly just gave us a chance to breathe during that stressful time.”
Today, the baby girl who just needed some diapers is a 15-year-old sophomore at Gulf Coast High School who loves playing the viola in the school orchestra. And, her older brother? He is a sophomore at the University of Florida. Mary’s story is one that is echoed by hundreds of local mothers right here in Southwest Florida. In fact, now in its 15th year, Baby Basics of Collier County has donated 10 million diapers to local, hardworking families in need and that calls for a celebration!
On January 13, Baby Basics will host Denim & Diamonds for Diapers at Vanderbilt Country Club. Sponsored by Life in Naples and Synovus Bank, this country themed commemoration will feature a delicious, nouveau Nashville themed dinner; specialty cocktails; and a grand prize package for two to Nashville with airfare and hotel.
For more information about Baby Basics of Collier County, its success stories, or to purchase tickets to Denim & Diamonds, please visit www.BabyBasicsCollier.org today.