Watauga Children’s Council, university host diaper drive

Watauga Children’s Council, university host diaper drive

Laney Ruckstuhl

Appalachian State University’s Highlands Association of Child Development Advocacy is working with the Watauga Children’s Council to host a diaper drive on campus that will run through Friday.

HACDA is a student organization geared toward advocating for the rights and needs of children in the community. This is the second year that HACDA has hosted and assisted with the Who Needs A Change? diaper drive, which donates its collection to WCC’s Diaper Bank.

Collection boxes can be found in various locations around campus and in the community and donations are also being taken in the College of Education building.

“Last year, we collected over 6,000 diapers, so I would really like to top that,” HACDA president Paige Moretz said.

HACDA and WCC are also collecting monetary donations, which they will use to purchase diapers in bulk, Moretz said. The organization decided to sponsor the drive annually after WCC informed them about the cause.

“Many of the HACDA members that have been recently recruited were not aware of the Children’s Council or the Diaper Bank,” Moretz said. “So, in the process of advocating for children, students are being informed about resources and organizations in the community.”

HACDA member Elizabeth Easter said she thinks it has helped call students’ attention to issues in the community that they may not otherwise be aware of.

“Gaining knowledge about the well-being, or the lack thereof, of the children and families in our community gives us a whole new perspective and grants us the opportunity to realize the need and to reach out,” Easter said.

“The diaper drive is just our way of spreading knowledge and giving students the opportunity to make [a] simple, but huge difference in the lives of local families.”

Meggan Knight, the drive’s head organizer for the Children’s Council, also came to speak to HACDA last year about the issue and the families it would affect. Knight said the council has collected more than 100,000 diapers since the program was started in March 2012 and helps an average of 110 children every month.

Knight said she believes the mission statement for the  Who Needs a Change? drive sums up the organization’s goals best.

“We are working to eliminate diaper need by distributing free diapers to those in need,” according to the statement. “Our goal is to ensure every child in our community has enough diapers to remain clean, happy and healthy.”

Knight said she thinks that community service is also a great way for students to develop into professionals.

“I think it is important for students to be involved in community service to help them develop a sense of community and have an awareness of needs in the community,” she said.

Knight said they will distribute the diapers with the help of the Health Department, Children’s Developmental Services Agency, Women’s Infants and Children Nutrition Services and other social service agencies and churches.

Story: Laney Ruckstuhl, Intern News Reporter