Throughout the month of May, the Public Affairs Committee and the Just Serve Committee are organizing a diaper drive in conjunction with St. Andrew’s Methodist Church. Why? Because this is a wonderful opportunity to partner with another church in our community to do much good.
-David and Tonya came to Denver 9 years ago and were homeless, living in a shelter. I met them today, standing outside the Stout Street Clinic as we all waited for the doors to open at noon. In Tonya’s arms was Marucio, their little baby boy just 3 months old. They told me how hard they had worked to get out of the shelters and create a life for themselves, even moving into a subsidized apartment as they started their family, but the recent expenses of a newborn and Tonya losing her job had forced them out of their apartment and back to the streets. There simply wasn’t enough money from David’s work to have any kind of normal life. Little Marucio was getting newborn checkups at the Clinic, and with each visit they would get RMDD packages of 15 diapers. Diapers, according to Tonya, were harder to find than almost anything else their little baby needed. She was even drying his wet disposable diapers over a heating vent so she could reuse them. “They are so expensive to buy, and we don’t have the money to get enough for him. When I get those diapers from the Clinic, I just say Thank You Thank You Thank You, because I know he’ll be clean and he will sleep tonight.” A simple little diaper will help their baby stay dry and clean tonight. Tonya’s gratitude to those who donated the diapers cannot be measured…only imagined.
-Ernesto and Julia came into DenUM pushing a stroller. Emma, their five-month old baby girl, was sleeping peacefully inside, bundled up against the cold. Like a lot of the people we serve, the young parents were embarrassed at having to ask for help. At first, they looked at the floor and their words were barely audible. But when I asked about their housing situation, Ernesto looked me straight in the eye, and I’ve never heard a clearer or more resolute voice. “I’ve been homeless before,” he said. “I can be on the street. I can go without food. But not my wife and daughter. Not Emma. We’re going to do this right, and I’ll do whatever it takes.” As I handed Ernesto and Julia diapers and baby formula and led them into the pantry for food, I thought about the kind of courage and love that brought them to us, and the new start they’re trying to make.”