EVERETT – Snohomish County families struggling during the COVID-19 crisis are receiving emergency distributions of diapers, wipes and formula through a $30,000 grant awarded to Catholic Community Services’ Prepares program by the Community Foundation of Snohomish County.
More than 30,000 diapers and nearly 560 packages of baby wipes already have been given to over 100 families served by Prepares, as well as families receiving assistance at area food banks and childcare centers, according to Mary Wahl, a regional network builder for Catholic Community Services of Western Washington.
Prepares assists pregnant women and families with children from birth to age 5. One family being helped by the Prepares program at St. Pius X Parish in Mountlake Terrace found themselves in financial trouble because of COVID-19, Wahl said. The father’s hours were cut 50 percent to save everyone’s job at his work site, while the mother lost her income because she couldn’t continue her work as an in-home caregiver. “They have three little kids, all in diapers,” Wahl said.
“That’s the story you hear over and over,” Wahl added. “Their unemployment hasn’t come through … and it was a month ago that they got paid. A lot of these families, I don’t know if they would have been Prepares or [Society of] St. Vincent de Paul families if COVID hadn’t hit.”
This little boy and his family received a supply of diapers and wipes through the Prepares program at St. Pius X Parish in Mountlake Terrace. The family’s income has been greatly reduced because of COVID-19. Photo: Courtesy Catholic Community Services
There is a lot of need in the community — it took only about two weeks to deplete the initial supply of diapers, wipes and formula, Wahl said. The items were ordered through Costco on a Monday and were ready by that Thursday.
“Costco had to draw from seven sites to get our order together for us,” Wahl said. “It shows you that they’re very community-focused. It really was an amazing thing.”
A team of volunteers picked up the order and delivered the items to a variety of sites — St. Pius X, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Everett, St. Vincent de Paul in Monroe and food banks in communities including Marysville, Darrington, Stanwood and Everett, Wahl said.
More diapers and wipes are on the way — another big order will be placed using the remaining grant funds, Wahl said.
Partnerships with parishes, the archdiocese and other Catholic organizations are part of CCS’ Catholic Collaborative for Poor Families and Communities initiative. Network builders like Wahl are working around the archdiocese to build relationships to increase outreach to those in need.
“It’s our job to build relationships between all our Catholic partners, but it’s also our responsibility to stay in contact with all the community agencies,” Wahl said. “This is where the value of what we do all year long comes into play,” she said of the COVID-19 response.
Snohomish County residents affected by COVID-19 who are in need of baby diapers, wipes and formula can contact these sites for more information:
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, Everett, 206-487-2414 (Prepares program)
St. Pius X Parish Mercy House, Mountlake Terrace, 206-487-2414 (Prepares program)
St. Vincent de Paul, Monroe, 425-513-6053
Volunteers of America, Sultan, 360-793-2400
Jean Parietti is the local news editor for NWCatholic.org and features editor for Northwest Catholic magazine. You can reach her at [email protected].
Jean Parietti es editora local para el sitio web NWCatholic.org y destacada editora de la revista Noroeste Católico/Northwest Catholic. Pueden contactarle en: [email protected].
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