Dear Diary,

This morning, NEXTpittsburgh featured me in an exclusive series that shines the spotlight on prominent Pittsburghers. Less than 50 folks have claimed this title to date, so it was humbling to see my name making headlines. The story shared my list of to-do’s–important meetings with even more important people (although they are too kind  to admit it) who are all advocating for children and youth in our county and across the commonwealth. Funny, because three years ago, I never would have imagined landing my dream job as a communications director at a child advocacy organization. As a matter of fact, I left my teaching job and moved in with my sister and her children back in 2011. Eight months pregnant, I relocated from Maryland shortly after being dumped by my long-term boyfriend.

After I gave birth, I didn’t have a job or child support from my daughter’s dad (although we eventually worked out some of our issues). It’s not really a woe is me sob story. I did have money in the bank and a priceless circle of supportive friends and family members. I never needed for much of anything. I received medical assistance, WIC benefits and food stamps. It was a very enlightening experience. I learned that everyone weathers a storm. It doesn’t matter what degree you obtained, what car you drive or what house you reside in. At some point in your life, a crisis crashes down. Fortunately, when it did, I didn’t go without diapers. This is a picture of one of my daughter’s very first diaper changes. At the time, I had no idea that I would run through thousands!

Caitlynn in Diapers

But that’s not the case for one in three American moms who struggle to provide diapers for their children. diapers. Each day, these moms must choose between diapers, which cost up to $100 per month per baby, or other essentials, such as food. This is called diaper need, and there is little help or government assistance for it. Therefore, many mothers are forced to keep their children in soiled diapers, exposing them to health risks or preventing them from attending daycare. This is a huge concern in Pittsburgh, which has the nation’s sixth highest poverty rate for African-American children. That’s why is teaming up with the Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank and the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank to host the Burgh Baby Diaper Drive throughout the month of February.

Burgh Baby Diaper Drive

Here are three ways you can help us get behind Burgh Babies and make this diaper drive a huge success:

1. Donate Diapers (or the money to purchase them)

Just long onto Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank’s website to make an online contribution or find a listing of drop off locations. More than a dozen churches and community agencies are serving as collection sites, so you shouldn’t have to go far to get behind Burgh babies and support this effort. Although all sizes and brands are being collected, sizes 4, 5 and 6 are in the highest demand. The goal is to collect 50,000 diapers during the month.

2. Host a Diaper Drive

Hosting a drive is simple. Just share the information with friends, family and coworkers. You can print the flyer above and tape it to a cardboard box for collections–if you are expecting a large turnout, we can schedule a pick up. $100 is the estimate for diapering one baby for one month. So, a breakdown would be–diaper one baby for one week for $25; two weeks for $50; three weeks for $75 or the entire month for $100.

3. Share #BurghBaby Messages on Social Media

You can help address diaper need my spreading the word on social media. Search the hashtag, retweet this message on Twitter or share this post on Facebook. If you would like a social media sheet (you can do a simple cut and paste of more than a dozen promotional messages), email me at

So what happens next? Well, your donation will help keep kids happy and healthy. The diaper bank will provide a reliable supply of diapers to babies, toddlers and their families throughout the Pittsburgh region. The bank does this by distributing the diapers to social service agencies already helping families in need through comprehensive programs and services.

Be sure to check back to this story for updates! I’ve teamed up with a host of moms who are blogging for diapers. I’ll link to their posts, and give you all the information  you need to make the decision donate!

About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.