September is National Infant Mortality Awareness Month, an opportunity to acknowledge and prevent the causes of infant death and support families. This year, First Year Cleveland has partnered with Case Western Reserve University’s Student Run Health Clinic to host a month long Diaper + NEW Car Seat Drive to help support local families and children. First Year Cleveland is a community collective that believes everyone has a role to play in ensuring that every baby born in Greater Cleveland will celebrate a first birthday. FYC is building a community movement identifying causes and developing sustainable, community -driven solutions to reduce infant deaths and improve maternal-infant health.
One of the ways to support a thriving family is to make sure they have the necessities to care for their infant. Nearly one in two households with young children struggle to afford diapers, limiting the number of daily diaper changes and putting infants and toddlers at risk for infection and illness. In response to this diaper crisis, the Diaper Bank of Greater Cleveland was founded in 2019 and is dedicated to providing free accessible diapers for the community to improve infant health and wellness. On average, they distribute 65,000 diapers a year across Cuyahoga County and continue to have a waiting list due to limited supplies. Another key essential for families is a car seat. Infants and small children that ride in a vehicle without a car seat are at serious risk of injury or even death. Helping a family secure a car seat can save a baby’s life.
The collaborative Diaper + NEW Car Seat Drive will run from September 1st – September 29th. All diapers collected will be delivered to the Diaper Bank of Greater Cleveland. The NEW car seats we collect will be shared with Womankind Maternal & Prenatal Care Center and Goods Bank NEO, a community redistribution partner.
Donations can be dropped off at the CWRU Mandel School Lobby (11235 Bellflower Rd Cleveland, OH 44106) Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm. Monetary donations are also accepted by scanning the QR code on the flyer or by visiting firstyearcleveland.org. All funds collected throughout September will be used to purchase diapers and new car seats for Greater Cleveland families. Please consider donating to this important cause as we strive to #EndDiaperNeed and support families in our community.
More information on the CWRU Student Run Health Clinic The CWRU Student Run Health Clinic provides high quality, compassionate healthcare to underserved populations within the greater Cleveland community. Graduate students from the medical, physician assistant, nursing, dental, and social work programs at Case Western Reserve University volunteer together in interprofessional teams throughout the year at the clinic. Neighborhood Family Practice has supported CWRU’s Student Run Health Clinic since 2021, lending their Ridge Road Community Health Center location every other Saturday for clinic operations. Patients are provided with comprehensive medical care as well as psychosocial support and relevant community resources during their visits. The CWRU Student Run Health Clinic values outreach initiatives and has historically participated in food/toiletry drives to help local families and integrate care into the community.