The city of Leawood is collaborating with Kansas City nonprofit HappyBottoms to help local parents in need.
The Leawood Police Department has begun a partnership with the organization to distribute diapers to families who cannot afford them.
HappyBottoms serves families in the Kansas City metro
- The nonprofit works with hospitals and social service agencies to identify parents in need of diapers.
- Through HappyBottoms’ programs, families can qualify for either 50 disposable diapers or 30 training pants per month.
- The organization’s “Bundles of Joy” program also allows new mothers in need at hospitals to receive 75 diapers right after the birth of their child.
- “We started in 2009, and since then, we’ve distributed more than 21 million diapers into the Kansas City area,” said Ashley Allison, marketing and communications manager for HappyBottoms. “This year has actually seen a huge increase — 37% more diapers have left the warehouse for January through June, as opposed to last January through June.”
Leawood emergency personnel will distribute the diapers
- Leawood police officers and first responders will start stocking their vehicles with the diapers they receive from HappyBottoms.
- If officers identify someone in the community in need, they will be able to give them the free happy pack of diapers in their vehicle and a business card for HappyBottoms so they can find access to more.
- Leawood City Councilmember Andrew Osman, whose family regularly volunteers with HappyBottoms, said he hopes that people who might be less likely to admit their need for assistance might be more willing to accept free diapers from a police officer or first responder.
- “Single moms really can be apprehensive to ask for help,” he said. “What (HappyBottoms) found is that people are more able to open up to a police officer or first responder than a community organizer or someone that’s just randomly cold-calling.”
Leawood is the first Johnson County city to form this partnership
- HappyBottoms partners with 66 community organizations and seven hospitals across the Kansas City metro area.
- While Leawood is the first city as a whole to partner with the organization, three Johnson County hospitals already participate in the HappyBottoms Bundles of Joy program.
- This includes AdventHealth South Overland Park, AdventHealth Shawnee Mission and hospitals in the University of Kansas Health System.
Go deeper: Find more information about HappyBottoms here.