By David Fleet
-Some Genesee County children will be a little happier and drier thanks to the efforts of Reid Elementary students.
Reid Elementary joined 40 area schools and participated the Dimes for Diapers program March 13-31. The event, which started about nine years ago and is coordinated by ABC-12 Flint and ELGA Credit Union, challenges students to collect change to purchase diapers for area needy. The three top schools in collection will be recognized by ABC-12. The diapers will be distributed on May 5.
“One dollar can buy eight diapers, enough for one day,” said Cheryl Sclater, public relations manager of ELGA Credit Union, which will open a branch office this summer in Goodrich. “The need is great considering the county has about 4,500 children age three and under living below the poverty level that need help.”
The final amount collected by Reid Elementary had not yet been tallied as of press time.
“I never realized the need, but most Americans who have not faced this struggle personally are unaware the problem exists,” said Sclater.
“Families unable to afford diapers are forced to choose from a variety of undesirable alternatives that can severely impact the health and well-being of their child. Many families report cutting back on basics such as food, utilities or child care in order to purchase diapers.”
Federal benefits such as Bridge cards for food or special supplemental programs like WIC cannot be used for diapers.
Beth Millerschin, principal at Reid Elementary School, said the Dimes for Diapers project was part of the leadership journey for students.
“Each classroom at Reid has a leader student that promoted the collection to classmates,” she said. “Many of the students went home and collected money from parents and friends outside of school. The results were outstanding—they are giving back to the community, a big part of the Leader in Me.”