According to Every Little Bottom (2010), a study commissioned by Huggies that surveyed over 2500 mothers in the USA and Canada, 1 in 3 mothers in the US and 1 in 5 mothers in Canada compromise on basic necessities like food and payment of utility bills in order to provide diapers for their young children (ages 0-4 yrs). These mothers often re-use disposable diapers by drying or cleaning them and the babies suffer from discomfort at best and severe rashes at worst. These statistics would be far more deplorable in societies that are not as privileged as ours.
Nader and Mohammed had founded the company on the basic concept to re-introduce parents to modern cloth diapers and through that contribute a portion of our earnings to a deserving cause. We will give one brand new PUL cloth diaper to a family in need for every 3 diapers we sell. This gift will be made on behalf of our patrons, our customers, and will be done at the end of each month. The Baby Do Good post every month on our blog is where we will hold ourselves accountable for our pledged diapers.
Please read our FAQ on Baby Do Good to understand exactly how and what we are doing with our pledged cloth diapers. If there are any additional questions, concerns or comments- please do get in touch with us: email@example.com
Q. Don't babies really need food more than diapers?
A. Yes, we are sure that young babies need food more than clean diapers but unfortunately we don't make baby food; we make cloth diapers. Diapers might not be the top most priority for struggling families but we hope that the availability of clean re-usable diapers will alleviate stress and leave parents with more funds to provide for other basic necessities like food and shelter.
Q. Are you guys social entrepreneurs?
A. Proudly, yes. We were very inspired by the generosity that new-age social entrepreneurs like Blake Mycoskie from TOMS shoes and many others like him have infused into traditional businesses making them have a conscience rather than reducing it to a profit-loss statement.
Q. Why won't you donate one diaper for every diaper sold?
A. As much as we would like to do so, a few things restrict us; enthusiasm for doing good and willingness are not amongst them. The diapers we pledge are not coming entirely out of our own personal funds; our consumers bear a part of the cost while some of it is shouldered by us (by compromising on a lower profit margin and eating home cooked food). The only way we could donate one diaper for each diaper sold (while still staying in business) is if we increase the selling price of our products significantly and make our consumers bear the added cost. This would likely make our products very niche in an already small market and hence the purpose of starting this venture would be defeated. Its a fine balance, as it stands right now, and we will strive to donate one for one- soon enough.
Q. Doesn't the Every Little Bottom study specifically say that cloth diapers are not the solution for struggling families as they do not have access to adequate laundering facilities?
A. True, the study by Huggies, one of the biggest manufacturers of disposable diapers in the world, does point that out. But we at lil helper are selling more than just a product; we are trying to forward a cause. Our mission is to provide sustainable diapering options and prevent landfill congestion caused by disposables. It would be contradictory to the sole purpose of our company if we gave away disposables rather than cloth diapers.
Apart from that, we would be giving people fish, a short-term solution, rather than teaching them fishing, a long-term solution. We are also providing people with the proverbial "net", so once they don't need to fish they can pass it on to some other family. All of the families would eventually run out of the disposables at some point of time or other but cloth-diapers, especially the one-size would last their kids till they are potty trained. The parents could use it on subsequent kids or share it with their friends and family. If we were to donate disposables, it would be akin to a physician from Doctors Without Borders to go to a relief camp in a disaster zone to start practicing voodoo healing on the injured and hurting masses during shortages of medical supply.
We believe that having clean re-usable diapers for your child is always a better option than cleaning disposables so that they can re-used.
Q. Does the 3 for 1 policy only apply to online purchases from the lil helper store?
A. No matter where you purchase your lil helpers, be it your neighborhood retail store or an online site, we extend the same offer of giving a cloth-diaper to a family in need for every 3 diapers that are sold. As far as we are concerned, a diaper is pledged each time 3 diapers leave our facility- be it en route to our end consumers like yourself or our retailers (although we are engineers we avoid doing math, especially complicated math). So no matter where you buy your lil helpers from, you are always helping.
Q. Do I have to buy diapers in multiples of 3 in order for lil helper to effectively make a pledge to give a cloth diaper?
A. No, not necessarily- you may buy as many diapers as you need, 1 or 100. All we do is figure the total sale of diapers at the end of a month and then calculate the number of diapers that need to be given. For example: if we sell a total of 3400 cloth diapers in a given month, we donate 1134 diapers (3400/3=1133.3). Sorry, there is no complicated math model behind it.
Q. Should I consider that my debt to society paid since I did something charitable by buying 3 diapers from lil helper?
A. Well, we would like for you to think of it as a start for you to open your heart to other such deserving causes; the proverbial drop in a bucket, make that an ocean. Although, we are not a non-profit organization and cannot accept any donations, we certainly encourage you to look for other causes and movements to support. True, we (you and lil helper) won't be able to solve all the world's problem, but at least we pro-actively tried rather than just screaming at the television from the comfort of our lavish couches. And you'll also sleep better at night.
Q. What kind of cloth diapers do you give away?
A. We give our original PUL cloth diaper in brand new condition without packaging- to reduce the likelihood of it being resold. These same diapers are also available for purchase at our online store. Although, we are giving it away as a gift we believe that babies, irrespective of their situation, deserve the same level of care as we would expect for our own children. We try and give an assortment of colors in each diaper shipment.
Q. May I make additional diaper donations other than the ones that are automatically done each time I buy 3 diapers?
A. Absolutely. You may get in touch with us through sending a request on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you a discount code where you will be able to purchase diapers through our online store for less than our wholesale price. This way we (lil helper) further compromise on our profit to ensure that we can together support a worthy initiative. Unfortunately, we will not be able to send you these diapers or mail it to any other address and will include it along with our monthly gift.
Q. How do we as customers know that you are actually giving away the diapers that you pledge?
A. We will only direct our cloth diapers to charities and non-profit organizations who have demonstrated they have been working to help struggling families. Once we determine the authenticity of the organization we will forward our shipment of cloth diapers to them and ask them for a receipt, which will be posted on our blog for all to view.
Q. Would you give the pledged diapers to my charity or for my particular cause?
A. Certainly, as long as you are a registered charity or a non-profit organization and can demonstrate to us in any reasonable way that you will distribute our cloth diapers to deserving families. We will also require a letter or receipt of acceptance of our diapers from your organization to prove to our community of benefactors that the cloth-diapers that they helped buy were directed in a fair manner. If you subscribe to the philosophy that one hand should not know when the other hand does charity, then unfortunately we will not be able to support you.
Q. Is there any other way I could help in this cause?
A. Yes, you can. You could tell all your friends, family, other parents you meet on the street and random strangers about the joy of using cloth-diapers. You don't even have to mention lil helper (a big hug from us, if you do), just as long as you shock and awe them with the benefit of using cloth diapers and showing all the wonderful innovation that has happened since the days of the pre-folds. Lobby your daycare to allow for cloth-diapers to be used on babies, talk to your local bureaucrat to give parents who use cloth diapers a tax break since you don't over burden landfills shunning disposables and spread the word online.
“Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.”
- Horace Mann