Lil Helper Interview with The Cloth Option
Hey Y’all, It’s Erin.
We’ve talked before about diaper scarcity and discussed cloth diapers being the solution to the diaper crisis. In a nutshell, there are families that can’t afford to diaper their children.
I’d like to introduce you to an amazing organization whose mission is to help these families– The Cloth Option.
Check out Mohammed’s video talking about the donation given to The Cloth Option as a result of our Baby Do Good Program. If you’re not familiar, for every 3 diapers customers purchase, Lil Helper is able to donate 1 diaper! AMAZING!!!
I was very fortunate to chat with Board of Directors Chair, Sadie Cora! Learn all about this incredible group, the work they’re doing and how you can get involved below.
How and when did you get started?
TCO was founded in October of 2018 by a group of folks who wanted to advocate for cloth diapers as a solution to end diaper need. Something cool about us is we are a collective and have a non-hierarchical structure. We just wanted to work on make cloth diapers accessible to all caregivers interested in trying them. We also recognize that there are a lot of barriers to families using cloth that run along lines of race and class, so we are trying to use our platform and organization to talk about and eliminate as many barriers as possible.
Where are you located?
Our headquarters are in Massachusetts but we have advocates throughout the United States including Alaska and Puerto Rico.
What areas do you serve?
We serve families throughout the US and military families stationed abroad. If an approved family does not have a local advocate near them, we will ship the diapers to them- at no cost to them.
We are a Canadian based company, and just curious if there’s any possibility of advocates being able to start in Canada?
We aren’t currently operating in Canada – although in the future we may look at expanding beyond the US if there is need.
What does the process look like for families receiving diapers? How many diapers do they receive?
Families who would like to receive diapers can either apply online here or can submit a paper application directly to a local advocate. The program has no income requirements – families just need to feel that they are in need and tell us why receiving cloth diapers will help their family financially. Upon completion of the application process, families receive either 20 cloth diaper changes (for newborns), 15 cloth diaper changes (infants), or 10 cloth diaper changes (toddlers).
What does the donation process look like?
Folks who would like to donate can connect with their closest local advocate or a donation drop off. Donations can also be mailed to our PO Box – PO Box 1341 Holyoke MA 01041. We always recommend connecting with the closest location to save on shipping. Include your email or mailing address with your donation to receive a donation receipt for tax purposes.
What does being an advocate look like? How can you sign up to be one?
Our advocates have a variety of roles – from folks who focus just on outreach, behind the scenes organizational development work, folks who do outreach as well as distribution, etc. We are a 100% volunteer run organization, so that means that we are always looking to add folks to share the work. We love what we do – but it’s round the clock work. To become an advocate there is an application on our website, which requires a reference letter and then we have a screening process for potential new advocates.
Can cloth diaper accessories be donated or just cloth diapers? Do the items have to be new or can they be used?
We accept all brands of cloth diapers, and we do accept items in need of repair. We accept accessories as well. All pre-loved items are sanitized before being sent to families.
Are there other ways to get involved aside from donating?
Help us spread the word about our program! With 1 in 3 families in the US experiencing diaper need, chances are someone you know is impacted.
You can follow and share their posts on Facebook!
Is there anything that you’d really like for our readers to know?
We believe that all caregivers have the right to choose how they wish to diaper their baby. That’s why we are working to make cloth accessible and remove as many barriers as we can. We are also here to support anyone who wants to cloth diaper, whether they receive diapers from our organization or not.