Saturday afternoon, May 7. The 2011 Help a Mother Out Mother’s Day Diaper Drive.
I had spent the entire day outside the Westlake Village Fresh Brothers Pizza, which is in a fancy outdoor mall and trafficked by fancy people, most of whom looked at me oddly as I chirped “I’m collecting diapers and donations for poor and homeless families” at them as they walked by with a nervous sideways glance. Not a huge turnout of eager diaper donators. By 1pm I considered it a victory if someone even accepted our postcard with the suggestion “Our URL is on it, check us out online to see how our efforts impact the community.” I’m convinced that the aggressive ladies stationed outside Barnes and Noble and Bristol Farms collecting money for a homeless shelter had gotten to them first, and my colorful display and irrepressible spirit were no match for them.
To tell you the truth, my spirits were repressed a little that day. It was the first time I had set up camp in a public place to collect diapers and the turnout was so low. It was disheartening, but when I look back on it I realize that it was a very valuable lesson. That’s what it feels like to work for a cause season after season, not just one publicity event at a time.
People stop listening to you. They hear “I need money…” and they just stop listening. But the task that we face, as the good people of Earth who care about children whether they are ours or not, is to keep talking. Keep spreading the word. Keep shouting from the rooftops. THE BABIES NEED HELP.
If not us, then who?
I collected a modest amount of diapers and some cash at that Fresh Brothers location. Then I headed out to Calabasas to collect their bounty – all five locations participated in the diaper drive. On the way I got some messages from Debbie Goldberg, who had the idea for this event in the first place. The numbers from the other locations were looking good.
When I arrived in Calabasas and told the employee outside that I was there to pick up the diapers, he sent Adam out. “Give me a minute and I’ll bring them out,” he said. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but by then it wasn’t much, which is why you hear me practically hyperventilating with joy when I saw this:
There was more than one load.
Rounding up just a tiny bit, we collected 4500 diapers and $500 in cash that day. More people have donated online as well, and I’m told there are even MORE diapers waiting for pickup at that same Calabasas location.
My deepest thanks to Debbie Goldberg and the Fresh Brothers family for all of their efforts. Especially that young Fresh Brothers worker who donated $4 saying “I can eat lunch at home.” I guess I must have looked pretty needy. When he grows up, I hope he remembers what a good thing he did at 17.
If you saw my earlier posts about our diaper drive and thought “Aw, too bad I can’t go there, I live too far away/I have a birthday party to attend/I’m sick/I’m tired/etc.” you still have a chance to help Help a Mother Out get an additional 100,000 diapers. If we raise a total of $25K in the month of May, a donor will send us that many more diapers to give out to needy children. We are less than $3,000 away from that goal with 6 days left to go. That’s only $500 per day!
Click here to donate online.
What if you just gave $20, right now, and sent the link to this post to 10 friends? Can you imagine? You can’t do everything, perhaps you can’t even do a lot. But you can do something. And if we all do something together – well, that is everything.