Changes to the GDGH Program Effective November 2015

For the past 4 years Giving Diapers, Giving Hope has operated on the same principle concept- we loan cloth diapers to families and charge a shipping fee that covers shipping to them and back to us.

When GDGH started their national shipping model it was a new concept, one that took the best bits of other diaper banks that came before it and combined those with new ideas.  This model was been extraordinarily successful so far.  Each approved family pays a fee to cover shipping to them and return shipping of the diapers back to GDGH.

The shipping charge for families is one that GDGH couldn’t go without.  We serve more than 30 families each month, sometimes as many as 50+, so covering the shipping 100% is simply not an option.

Thanks to the incredible fundraising efforts of our cloth diaper community and in particular, the $5 per Jax and Jill print donated by Smart Bottoms, GDGH was able to make our program more accessible.  The $35 fee was lowered to $20.  For each family this year GDGH has used donations to cover $15 of their costs of shipping.

2015 has been a year of growth and changes- for this reason the GDGH administrative team and Advisory Board met to discuss a small change to our model and have decided to move forward with the concept.

Effective November 4, 2015 families will now be charged $15 for shipping of their loaner set of cloth diapers.  Instead of GDGH providing the pre-paid return shipping label as we have been doing since 2014, or refunding each family $15 if they ship back to us as we did in 2011-2014, families will now be responsible for the expense of return shipping.

Families are still required to return the diapers sent to them by Giving Diapers, Giving Hope.  This change just means instead of paying upfront they pay later when the diapers are no longer being used.  If for some reason the family has difficulties with this fee they can email us about other options.

We made this change for a few reasons- the main one being the time it takes our shipping partners to create and email labels.  Often, these labels get caught in spam folders or the families don’t print them in time thus starting the process over again.  Our shipping partners already work so hard volunteering their time to receive, sort, and ship diapers.  In an effort to put less of a burden on their shoulders we felt our GDGH families could pay for and ship their diapers to us rather than receive a pre-paid label.  It’s a small effort and cost on their part but one that will make a huge difference to us.

Instructions on returning diapers will be included in the new pamphlets included in every shipment to our families.

The shipping fee TO families may be lowered in the future based on experience in our new arrangement with the two new shipping partners- Kelly’s Closet and Thirsties.  If shipping costs less than the cost of shipping we paid on average over the past 2 years with GroVia there may be future price reductions.  GDGH stands behind our decision to charge families a shipping fee because we strongly believe that paying into the service gives each family more of a reason to use and be successful with cloth diapering.  No matter our financial circumstances we will always charge a small fee.  

This change will not apply to families who have been approved prior to November 4.  These families will still either be provided with a pre-paid shipping label or will be refunded a certain amount of money for them to use for shipping.  

 

 

 

Announcing New Shipping Partners for GDGH

Giving Diapers, Giving Hope- a non-profit cloth diaper lending organization- is announcing two new shipping partners for 2016.

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Thirsties Inc, a respected cloth diaper brand that manufactures in Colorado, and Kelly’s Closet, one of the Internet’s earliest cloth diaper retailers based in Maine, have teamed up to handle the shipping and receiving for Giving Diapers, Giving Hope.

Thirsties and Kelly’s Closet will be taking over the shipping and receiving duties that have been handled by GroVia since 2014.

In 2014 Giving Diapers, Giving Hope shipped a set of cloth diapers to more than 500 families. This past September GDGH shipped to 57 families- their busiest month to date.

GroVia is passing the torch to other companies who will follow the same model. Each company donates their warehouse space and their employees’ time to handle the shipping fulfillment for approved GDGH families.

Bobbi-Jean Palmer, owner of Kelly’s Closet regarding the new partnership “Our company [Kelly’s Closet] has always been a huge supporter of GDGH and their mission. We are looking forward to taking on a more hands on role with the organization to give reusable diapers to the families who need them.”

When GDGH partnered with GroVia they doubled, then tripled the number of families they were capable of helping each month. They couldn’t have grown without them! Now we are excited to see how partnering with companies in two locations will enable them to help more families.

From Kim Rosas, Executive Director GDGH “As our organization continues to grow and assist more families facing diaper need, it just makes sense to have TWO amazing companies shipping from different sides of the countries to keep shipping costs down for the families we’re helping. We are so thankful to have had such respected members of the cloth community so generously offer their help!”

Donors should begin shipping their donations to Thirsties or Kelly’s Closet while GroVia works through the diapers they have remaining in their Bozeman, Montana location. Please reference the Donate page to determine which location donations should be shipped to.

Announcing Changes to Our Donation Policies

We have an important announcement for our GDGH supporters and families regarding a recent change to our program.  Please read on.

 

As of this date, our organization will no longer be able to accept cloth diapers considered “non-compliant” as donations. “Non-compliant” diapers are diapers without the proper GCC/CPSC certificates as proof of safety testing for lead, pthalates, and flammability testing. If you wish to donate these diapers they should instead be gifted to a local diaper bank that will accept them or peer-to-peer. While it does pain us to refuse any diapers due to the great need that exists, we also have to run our charity in a way that ensures our families are receiving safe cloth diapers. Additionally, we believe distributing these diapers puts us at a legal risk.

We rely on the donations from families AND approved brands and still need your support. Every family and their baby deserves clean, safe diapers. It is unclear how this will affect us long-term and our ability to continue providing cloth diapers to all the families who apply. As a very small administrative team, Maria, Kristen, and myself are constantly brainstorming ways that we can make up the difference in diapers we will be losing to this new, but necessary change.

Donors, please refer to our list of approved brands. We will continue to add brands to this list as we receive the documentation we need.

Our organization has weathered many storms and has always come out stronger on the other side. It’s our belief that this change is for the better and that the cloth diaper community will rally to support us.

Thank you,

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Executive Director

GDGH by the Numbers- Why every dollar counts- and how you can help!

As the need and awareness of GDGH grows it’s more important than ever to maintain an inventory of cloth diapers. Without enough diapers occasionally families wait longer after they have applied or after being approved before we have the inventory to ship. It’s something we hate doing but with no diapers to send there is often no other choice.  That’s where you come in!  We are asking for your help, but first, we want you to better understand our organization.

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This year our organization has spent 80.5% of our funds on shipping assistance and diapers. We pay $15 for every family that receives diapers from us. That comes to just over $3,000 dollars so far in 2015. We’ve ordered over $500 worth of cloth diapers at a deep discount. Per month we pay out more than $150 in costs associated with running our organization including our phone, bank fees, accounting software, and application form service.  Costs not directly assisting families amount to just 19.5% of our spending this far in 2015.  I don’t want you to think that percentage isn’t helping families- these are just the things that keep GDGH running in order TO help families.

We pay $0 a year in payroll. That’s right. Every cent our organization earns goes towards doing good and helping families. Our volunteers work countless hours to make sure all of our fundraising efforts are primarily helping families in a direct way.

How are we able to survive with no paid employees and no rent?

It’s primarily due to the generosity of GroVia and The Natural Baby Company.  In January 2014 GroVia took over the shipping, receiving, and sorting of all inbound and outbound donations for Giving Diapers, Giving Hope.  This amazing gesture has meant that we can continue to spend more of our donations on what matters most- the families in need.

The administrative work is done by volunteers (Kim Rosas and Maria Moser) and we are additionally assisted by so many others who offer their time with graphics (Amand Hearn), promotion (Calley Pate and Julie Clark), etc.

 I firmly believe that 100% of our funds are spent on doing good.

We think transparency is very important in running a charity which is why we publish our financial reports to Guidestar and will continue to do so each year after we file our 1099 with the IRS. Unlike larger charities the largest percentage of our expenditure goes right towards the families we have aimed to help.  Even if funds allow in the future we will never make our shipping free to families because we feel that using their own money for part of the shipping adds more value to the diapers and ensures our diapers return to us when they’re done being used.

Right now we are facing another diaper drought and we are looking at ordering more, this time, not at a reduced rate but at wholesale. Each time we buy diapers our budget for shipping assistance decreases.

Would you skip buying a coffee or buying an on demand movie to help?

It can take just seconds but every small contribution transforms the lives of others. Your money makes a bigger difference when you donate to a small charity like Giving Diapers, Giving Hope too! This year our budget is just $10,000! However, that only covers our operational costs and estimated cost of shipping assistance. This does not cover the cost of diapers- so we either skip buying diapers and cross our fingers that enough people donate or we buy diapers and begin charging families the old fee of $35 each again.

You can make a single- one time donation here:




Or you can become a monthly supporter of GDGH.  

We have created three levels for families starting at just $5 a month.  At $15 a month you can pay for 1 family’s shipping fee assistance.  At the $45 level you will cover 3 shipping assistance fees.  Your assistance with shipping means the donations we receive elsewhere can be used to order diapers whenever needed!


Donation Options



Thank you for making our work possible.

Sign up for GiveBuy.org to Support GDGH

Being such a small organization isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  At Giving Diapers, Giving Hope even small contributions go a long way to sustain our program and help more families cloth diaper their babies.  We are always looking for ways to pay for our operating expenses, buy diapers when we are running low to make sure no family goes without, and offset the cost of shipping through fundraising so that families pay less.

We are thrilled to have found an easy way for our friends and supporters to contribute through the website GiveBuy.org.  Similar to the Amazon Smile program, GiveBuy.org gives a portion of online purchases to Giving Diapers, Giving Hope.  Unlike Amazon Smile, GiveBuy.org works with tons of retailers including Amazon, Expedia, Travelocity, Walmart, Stamps.com, Office Depot, Macy’s, Nordstrom, and many more.

How can I participate?

To get started it is very simple and should take 3-5 minutes of your time.  This video walkthrough will help or you can follow these simple instructions.

Install Givebuy.org and Give to GDGH from Giving Diapers, Giving Hope on Vimeo.

Go to givebuy.org and download the extension you need for your browser.

Install the extension.

Sign up for your account and then choose “Giving Diapers, Giving Hope” in the drop down menu of charities.

Sign in through the extension.

Forget you installed it and go about your online shopping as usual while helping a great cause.  You’ll be able to track your contributions after a certain timeframe by clicking on the GiveBuy.org button in your browser.

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Each month Giving Diapers, Giving Hope spends more than $500 subsidizing the shipping costs for our families and we expect that number to increase as more families learn how cloth diapers can save them money.  If you’ve always wanted to donate but haven’t had the means to do so this is a way to support GDGH without using money from your own pocket!  We hope you’ll tell your friends to sign up too.

Reducing Shipping Fees to Help GDGH Families

It is with great excitement that we announce a change at Giving Diapers, Giving Hope .  We will be reducing the shipping fee our approved families pay from $35 to $20 as of this announcement.  This change will last as long as we can sustain it and we cannot partially refund families who have paid the $35 prior to this announcement.  We are hopeful that with the continued support of the cloth diapering community we can not only keep the cost lower for our future families but get it even lower.

So, why is it that we charge a shipping fee at all?  When we started in 2008 as a local cloth diaper bank there was no need for a fee, but after opening to national applications we realized without any funding the only way for our families to receive free cloth diapers was to have them pay the shipping.  At first the shipping fee would vary based on the location and weight but as demand grew and with only two women running the entire organization it was time to streamline.  GDGH found that $35 was the best number to cover the shipping to families and the return shipping.  Due to the volume that GDGH operates at and the need all over the country we’ve never before been able to eliminate or reduce the fee until now.  

We hope that by partnering with brands and stores on fundraisers we will make the barrier to entry stay lower in 2015.  We understand how impossible $35 can be to so many of the families that apply so by lowering the fee to $20 we can ease the burden a little more and potentially make it possible for more families to get the clean and reusable diapers they need.

In the past previous funds raised have also gone to the purchase of new diapers when our donated supply has dwindled so it is important that families and companies continue to donate their new and used diapers.   As long as we have diapers to send, future fundraising can be used for reducing our shipping fees rather than buying diapers.

Donate to GDGH today

I’m thrilled to say that our first several months of reduced shipping fees is entirely thanks to Abby’s Lane and their generous donation from the Allister Tula Exclusive.  We also hope that the exciting new Smart Bottoms print that will be sold exclusively at MommyCon locations in 2015 will extend the amount of time we can offer this reduction.

Would you like to be part of helping more families begin cloth diapering for the new, lower cost of shipping?  Individuals can make a donation on our Donate page.  Businesses can email Kim Rosas at givingdiapersgivinghope@gmail.com to discuss future fundraisers.  Thank you for making our mission possible.  2015 is already one for the record books at GDGH and we couldn’t be more thrilled at the growing support we have been shown.  All donations are tax deductible, GDGH is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization.

Announcement: Giving Diapers, Giving Hope is now a 501c3 Non-Profit

Giving Diapers, Giving Hope is pleased to announce that as of September 5, 2014 we are a registered 501c3 non-profit organization!  Since 2011 GDGH has helped over 600 families and shipped nearly 11,000 cloth diapers.  The aim has always been to help families start their cloth diapering journey for the cost of shipping, without having to pay the large upfront investment that cloth diapering can take.

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In September 2012 our organization filed for 501c3 after a successful fundraiser to cover the high fees it takes just to file.  We waited patiently, expecting not to hear news for 6 months to a year.  We had no idea how long this journey would really take (a full 2 years).  In the time between filing and being approved we have gone through many changes- we’ve going from a small two person organization that sorted, packed, and handled all of the applications in house to a group of 5 who handle the administrative duties and a larger pool of employees from GroVia who do all of our receiving and shipping!  We’ve also said goodbye to an amazing Director, Emily, and welcomed Kim Rosas as the new Executive Director.  Our numbers have steadily grown too- when we first started our national program we helped maybe 5-10 families per month.  Now we are helping over 30 families, sometimes even more than 45 per month!

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We are so thankful to the companies and families who have supported us on this unpredictable and wild ride.  We have no idea exactly what this next chapter will hold except that we will keep helping families.  If you are a company interested in talking with us on how you can help advance our mission you can email givingdiapersgivinghope@gmail.com.  We’d love to chat.

 

Donate to GDGH at Participating Great Cloth Diaper Change Locations

On April, 26th 2014 families will be gathering all over the world to break the world record for most cloth diapers changed simultaneously.  This event, called the Great Cloth Diaper Change, is a way to spread awareness about cloth diapering and also acts as a way for families to meet and have a good time!  Many of these events also act as expos or swap meets, some even have swag or prizes for participants!

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We are partnering with several of these locations in the US and these select venues will be collecting cloth diapers on our behalf!  We are continuing to grow and help more families, averaging about 8-15 packages of diapers being sent every single week, so the ability to gather more donations on a large scale is extremely beneficial and we are grateful to all of the locations collecting.  If you have diapers that are in good used condition- this means no relaxed elastics, no delamination, velcro and snaps still in working order, etc- please bring them to a participating location and drop them off in a collection box to save yourself the shipping fee.

If you are interested in collecting donations please email us givingdiapersgivinghope@gmail.com or download the poster that you can print and display on a collection box.

Here is a list of locations participating.  

Central Maryland GCDC

http://www.MarylandGCDC.com/

Gulf Coast Baby and Kids Expo

https://www.facebook.com/gulfcoastbabyexpo

San Diego, California GCDC

http://sandiegogcdc.eventbrite.com

Vista, California GCDC

https://www.facebook.com/events/501437216645747/

Sheperdstown, West Virgina GCDC

https://www.facebook.com/GreatClothDiaperChangeShepherdstownWv

Knoxville, Tennessee GCDC

https://www.facebook.com/GreatClothDiaperChangeKnoxville

Yorkville, Illinois GCDC

https://www.facebook.com/events/297014877117660/

Pinellas County in Florida GCDC

https://www.facebook.com/PinellasGCDC

KangaCare Natural Parenting Expo in Denver, Colorado

http://bit.ly/KCNPXdenverGCDC

Charlotte, North Carolina GCDC by Ivy’s Diaper Service

http://www.greatclothdiaperchangecharlotte.com

Ventura County, California

http://venturacountygcdc.blogspot.com/

Middle Georgia GCDC

http://www.facebook.com/mdgagcdc

 Bloomington, Indiana hosted by The Green Nursery

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-2014-great-cloth-diaper-change-at-tgn-tickets-11267831387

 

Apply for Assistance

Giving Diapers Giving Hope are a cloth diaper lending service for low income families. We are a non-profit organization and run completely on donations and volunteers.

We are NOT a diaper service.

We lend the diapers to the parents/guardians and they are responsible to do the washing themselves, with either a washing machine or the diapers can be washed either in a basin or camp washer if desired or needed. We lend all types of diapers. We do try to keep similar style diapers together (prefolds/flats together, pocket diapers together, all in one diapers together, etc.), to make it easier to switch over to cloth diapers. However, this is dependent on which diapers we have in our inventory.

 There is no cost to you for the diapers. Since this began as a local foundation to serve local families in North East, Massachusetts, all applicants who are outside of that area need to pay for shipping of the diapers to them. We charge a flat rate of $35, which covers the shipping to you and then back to us when you are done and Paypal fees. Due to packing many boxes of diapers and then not having people pay when we were charging exact shipping fees, we are now charging a flat rate fee and it must be paid prior to packing your box of diapers. This amount was reached by averaging prior exact shipping fees.

It can take approximately 2 weeks to process your application once submitted. If you haven’t heard from us after 3 weeks of sending your application, please feel free to email us and check the status of your application.

Once you receive an email saying you have been approved, you will be sent an invoice for shipping costs ($35) within a few days.

Please make sure that your Paypal address is correct. We can ONLY ship to the Paypal address listed due to shipping protection and tracking reasons, so please update your Paypal address if needed. Once you have paid the shipping fees, your diapers will be packaged as soon as possible and shipped within a few days.

It can take up to 2 weeks to have your diapers packed based on the amount of applications that had been recently approved. Please keep in mind, that we are 2 moms running this whole organization. The mission is something we strongly believe in, but we do have families and jobs aside from GDGH. While we do the best we can to stick to our time table, please be understanding if the times are not exact.

 If you do use our service there is an optional but recommended $10 donation for each month that you use the diapers. This goes towards repairing, replacing and purchasing more diapers for our inventory so we can help as many families as possible. If you lose or ruin a diaper while in your care, it is suggested to donate the cost of the diaper(s) so that we can purchase another diaper of similar quality. This is not mandatory but highly recommended so that we can continue to provide this service to other families.

Ready to apply to our program?

Our Story: Giving Diapers, Giving Hope

Emily and Kristen both run Giviing Diapers, Giving Hope in Gloucester, MA.

Emily and Kristen both run Giviing Diapers, Giving Hope in Gloucester, MA.

I always knew that cloth diapering my children would save me money but I never realized how important saving money was going to be for me. In only a few short months, I had gotten pregnant with my second child, found out I would be laid off of my teaching job at the end of the school year, broke up with my children’s father, lost my house due to not being able to afford the mortgage, and was forced to move out of state to live with my parents. I thought that I was having a difficult financial time then, but this past December (2010) my unemployment ran out and I still hadn’t found a job yet. And due to technicalities with the house I owned, I wasn’t even eligible for welfare and still wasn’t receiving any child support from my ex. I literally had NO money coming in. It was devastating. As I was carrying on with my day to day life caring for my children, I realized it was time to wash the diapers.  I was throwing my cloth diapers into the washing machine and then thought to myself, “Thank goodness I cloth diaper because if I didn’t I wouldn’t even know how I could buy my children diapers!”

Then I started to think, what WOULD other people do if they were in a similar situation and DIDN’T cloth diaper? How would they diaper their children?  There are no federally funded programs that provide diapers or help with diapering costs for low income families.

Read the rest of our story….