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Diaper Duty

Corinne Cannon1

Corinne Cannon was ecstatic at the birth of her first child, but soon came to realize the physical demands and emotional stresses of being a new mother. While she had a good support system, she also thought about the enormous challenges faced by families that lacked those same resources. Cannon contacted organizations in her area to find out how she could help and soon learned about the pressing need for one particular item – diapers. Nearly 30% of parents in the U.S. cannot afford them. As Cannon said, “I thought how impossible it would be, on top of having the stress of a newborn, if you are wondering where your baby’s next diaper is coming from.”

In 2010, Cannon founded the D.C. Diaper Bank. During the past 5 years, in partnership with other organizations that assist families in need, the nonprofit has provided nearly 2 million diapers to low-income families in the Washington, D.C. metro area. This past year, they began providing other essentials including formula, baby food and breastfeeding supplies. “We’re using diapers as a way to bring families in the door, and to have them engage with social services for their other needs,” explains Cannon.

“Knowing that we’re able to help moms at a critical point in their life, and knowing that we’re able to bring them a little bit of relief, is huge. I want them to have everything they need to thrive.”

Video:  http://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2015/09/10/cnnheroes-corinne-cannon.cnn/video/playlists/2015-cnn-heroes/