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.