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Everyone knows how important child care is to working parents. But few know the role that diapers play in securing that care.
"Most people do not understand that you cannot leave a child at daycare - even free daycare - if you do not have a one-day supply of clean diapers," said Martine Sanders of The Manning Agency in Nashville.
A little more than a year ago, Sanders and her co-workers were among those who didn't understand that need. Then a friend and customer introduced them to Nashville Diaper Connection, which provides diapers to area families struggling with poverty.
"Diaper need surprises most people who don't experience it. I was definitely surprised, too," said Doug Adair, who founded the organization in 2013. "The fact that many Nashville families have to choose between buying food or buying diapers is something I just couldn't ignore." The groups work together to load up donated diapers to the Nashville Diaper Connection.
This year, Nashville Diaper Connection will donate more than 300,000 diapers to families in need - nearly double the number distributed in 2015, Adair said. These come from community diaper drives, and purchases funded through monetary gifts and grants.
"After we learned more about this need," Sanders said, "we knew we wanted to help in some small way."
The Manning Agency's contribution isn't exactly "small," however. Each individual at the three-person company has gotten involved, from making donations to volunteering their time. They also sponsored last year's "Nashville Diaper Dash," a 5K run to raise money for the cause.
And employees are just as committed to raising awareness.
"Martine has advocated for Nashville Diaper Connection within her professional network, and she introduces us to the company's like-minded customers as well," Adair said.
It''s all part of The Manning Agency's ongoing commitment to community, Sanders said. In addition to its involvement with Nashville Diaper Connection, the company makes a donation to a local nonprofit for each referral it receives, and participates in other giving activities with the Insurers of Nashville organization.The Manning Agency spends time wrapping diapers for distribution at the Nashville Diaper Connection.
A 2017 Safeco Insurance Make More Happen Award will boost that impact. The honor comes with a donation of up to $10,000 from Safeco to Nashville Diaper Connection on behalf of The Manning Agency.
"This money can purchase tens of thousands of diapers for Nashville-area families, which will help them break the cycle of poverty," Sanders said. "These diapers literally will allow parents go to work or school, and improve their living situation. You can't put a price on that."
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