Whether you have a newborn or your kids were potty-trained years ago, any parent can attest to the fact that babies go through countless diapers, an expense that definitely adds up!
"It's a lot of money and they go through them really fast," said Bridget Gunn, a seventh grader at Our Lady of Lourdes School in Malverne, who is the middle child in her family.
To help struggling new moms or moms-to-be who have decided to keep their babies, the community in Malverne recently made a generous donation to the local chapter of Birthright International.
The students and staff, from Pre-K to Grade 8, brought in packages of diapers and other baby supplies, including bottles, pacifiers, bibs, washclothes and powder, during the month of March. Then, 15 O.L.L. students (14 seventh graders and one eighth grader) including Bridget, stayed after school one day and assembled the donations into adorable diaper cakes with help from teachers Kristen Bies and Maria Monfoletto.
They were split into teams of four. Seventh graders Patrick McNierney, Ryan Barrett, Michael Grant, and Jamie Boffardi made up the all-boys team, which created a Frog-themed four-tier diaper cake.
"I really wanted to help out mothers who wanted to start a family and live out their dreams of having a kid," Michael told Patch, when asked what motivated him to volunteer after-school.
"I think these people were thinking of having abortions," Jamie added. "We all need help in tough times and this will make it easier for them."
The completed cakes, along with the rest of the donated supplies, were delivered to Birthright, which will distribute them to struggling new mothers.
Patrick explained that in addition to supplies, Birthright will also give these moms "guidance on parenting and taking care of young children. " The non-profit offers its free and confidential services to pregnant women and mothers of all ages, economic statuses, ethnicities and circumstances, who need assistance caring for their babies to term and caring for them afterwards.
"This is a program for moms who weren't going to have their babies but decided to and don't have things they need to take care of the baby," seventh grader Sophie Wilson told Patch.
"In our faith, we believe everyone has the right to live so this encourages moms who need help to foster the babies," her classmate, Maggie Crowley, added.
Dana Flynn, who worked with Sophie and Maggie, to create one of the four diaper cakes, said she was inspired to volunteer because she wanted "to help these people who changed their minds. They made a good decision," she added. "You want to do what you can to support them."
Monfoletto, who teaches first grade at Lourdes and runs the missions program with Bies, chose Birthright as the beneficiary of the school's Lenten mission, because it reminded her of the Momma's House that once stood on the corner of Park Boulevard and Carisle Place, next to the school. It had provided a safe haven for struggling young mothers.
"Every day, I would pass a mother in need," Monfoletto said, recalling those days. "We would talk and I would give them things."
Although the Momma's House no longer exists today, Monfoletto said the Birthright program gave the school community a way to "work together to help the future generation, our babies."