HANNIBAL, Mo. -- Parents in need of diapers for their children have a new place for assistance in the Hannibal area, after representatives with Clarity Healthcare received a $5,000 donation Thursday afternoon.
The new Community Diaper Bank will be located at Clarity Healthcare, 141 Communications Drive in Hannibal. Renee Hendrickson, community relations specialist -- Central Region with Missouri Care, presented the donation check to start the diaper bank. When an unexpected cost comes up, some parents try to make the diapers last a bit longer, said Jacinda Epperson, nurse care manager with Clarity Healthcare. This leads to increased health issues for children like skin infections and urinary tract infections for children and heightened stress for parents.
"What we wanted to do was be another resource for families in the area, so that children are not getting these infections," she said. "It's also noted that when children are wet or have dirty diapers, of course, they're more fussy -- and a lot of times, that can lead to neglect or, unfortunately, child abuse."
The problems associated with not having enough clean diapers don't end at home.
"A lot of people don't realize, you have to have a certain amount of diapers to send the kids to daycare each week," Epperson said. "If you don't have those diapers, they can't go and then what happens? Mom or dad has to stay home, there's that loss of revenue, you can't pay bills, you can't buy groceries and you can't buy more diapers."
She expressed her gratitude for the showing of support from Missouri Care to make the diaper bank possible. Hendrickson agreed that the new program would help alleviate health care issues for children in the area.
"It's very important to Missouri Care that we help with these initiatives, because in the end it is about the health care of the children and the assistance for the families," she said. "We're here to support you."
Epperson said community organizations like Families and Communities Together have pledged to help the diaper bank in the future, and donations from other entities and individual donors are welcome. And she said everyone involved with the Community Diaper Bank was eager to give back.
"With this started, we're glad to be able to do something for the community," she said.
Donation opportunities and more information are available by calling Epperson at her office at 573-603-1460. More information about Missouri Care, A WellCare Company is available by visiting www.wellcare.com.