Blues & babies: what do they have in common? Itta Bena, Indianola, Como, Robinsonville...
You may've visited The Hollywood Cafe or B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center, a juke joint or a blues marker in these towns. Guess who else has too? The Diaper Bank of the Delta.
Small Delta towns that birthed the blues have also birthed a lot of babies whose mommas can't always afford diapers.
Did you know diapers aren't covered by any federal government or state safety net? The Diaper Bank has given away 175,000 diapers since May. You read that right: 175,000! Since COVID hit, they've traveled to tiny towns across 13 counties to reach the babies and families who need them most. Cuz if you can't afford enough diapers, you often can't afford a car either...
Today we're stoked to support the Diaper Bank's fundraiser & celebration of Diaper Needs Awareness Week. We'll broadcast Terry "Big T" Williams Live From Clarksdale 6-7p and share a few stories from the Delta. (Open invite if you're in town! 5:30-8:30p, 520c Ritchie Ave.)
This "hub" does big things on a very small budget, like:
Friends of Finn, in collaboration w/ Mothers' Milk Bank of Mississippi for mothers to donate breastmilk for sick babies
Clarksdale Baby University in partnership w/ Spring Initiative, to teach parenting skills
Crossroads Baby Cafe's weekly drop-in for breast feeding support from certified lactation consultants
"Nursing at the Crossroads" stations at local festivals, from Juke Joint Festival to Juneteenth. It's an enclosed tent with rocking chairs for nursing mothers, a clean & safe changing station and Tot Zone playmat with toys+books...so young parents can enjoy festivals, too!
Running the only nationally-recognized Diaper Bank in the state. The National Diaper Bank Network funded the diaper trailer that allows them to reach small communities, and helps them buy Huggies at a reduced rate. (Yes, they still have to pay $$!) The Baby2Baby partnership also helps -- they arranged a donation of 10,000 diapers from the The Honest Company!
Partnering with organizations like Too Small to Fail & Kotex U to procure supplies like period supplies and books.
Feeding families. The Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi has supported the Diaper Bank since the beginning. Since COVID, they've increased support to help distribute diapers and food.
Starting the "It's That Time, Girl" initiative to remove shame & embarrassment, and increase access to period products.
Know what else isn't covered by any federal or state safety net? Period products. "Period poverty" in the US is real for women who don't have enough period products to meet their menstrual needs.
Moms know: children's needs come before your own. If you can barely afford diapers & baby food, you'll skip buying pads for yourself.
As founder Chelesa Presley reminds us, "it's a cost of living in poverty." That hushed need exists for women across the Delta, from mothers to shy college freshmen. Just last week, It's That Time Girl hosted a period product giveaway at HBC Rust College in Holly Springs. Over 40 students came.
Talk about small but mighty. Chelesa made this all happen on no salary for the past 3yrs, and it's all run on very small donations. If you'd like to support these heroes, you can donate through Diaper Bank of the Delta PayPal.me/DeltaDiapers CashApp $DeltaDiapers, Givelify https://giv.li/u1xvwn & cheques to PO Box 252, Clarksdale MS 38614.
...and come join us at the Delta Hub in celebrating all that they do! There'll be wine, hors d'oeuvres & Big T 5:30-8:30pm at 520c Ritchie Ave. in person, with broadcast #LiveFromClarksdale right here at 6pm. See y'all then.
Latoya, Chelesa & "Breastfeeding at the Crossroads" at the Delta Hub