Cloth Diaper Podcast – Show 85
The Cloth Option with Katie Hair
It is such an honour to have Katie Hair join me on the Cloth Diaper Podcast and share about her journey as an advocate for the Cloth Option alleviating Diaper Need in the Las Vegas Area. The Cloth Option is a cloth diaper diaper bank supporting families across the United States access cloth diapers.
This is part of a series with other Cloth Diaper Banks to share the stories of impact, the options available to parents, and model some of the amazing programs across the United States.
Bailey Bouwman 00:00
Katie, why don’t you start with an introduction about who you are. Yeah, who are you? You’re you’re an Instagramer you do things on the internet. Most people know your name, at least your handle. I feel I feel like I get tagged. You get tagged? Yeah, yeah. Yeah, underscore at the end.
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 02:30
Right. Thanks for that. Bailey. I, I’m really excited to be on your podcast. I do want to just start by thanking you for giving me the opportunity. It’s It’s really such an honor and privilege. So I’m super excited for this. So for those who don’t know me, my name is Katie hair. I’m a mom of two boys. For Grayson’s four and on is to my husband of almost six years is Zach. He’s a firefighter and I am a marriage and family therapist and licensed alcohol and drug counselor as well. I work in private practice part time. And mostly I’m just home with my babies. So Oh, enjoying that you’re
Bailey Bouwman 03:15
around Katie. Wow, amazing. I never I never know where people come from and their skill sets and their strain. And that explains so much about what I know of you as a person having chatted with you online about where you come with, like you come at. If you don’t know Katie on the internet, she usually has a lot of passion and gentleness when I think about you and I think about the kindness that you offer people. And that that background to me, explains that piece of the puzzle there. Why that comes so naturally to you your field right with your experience. So you Yeah, I didn’t realize your kids were so big, kind of you know, you get stuck. You meet somebody on the internet. You meet somebody in real life even right and then you’re like Newberry B and A two year old and a four year old and a two year old. So why did you four years ago, did you start cloth diapering four years ago or where did your cloth diaper?
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 04:17
Okay, so, you know, I chose to do cloth diapering because I felt like it aligned with my personal philosophy of natural parenting. As soon as I got pregnant with Grayson, I decided to have a home birth. And so decisions just became just kind of rolled out from there like how I was going to exclusively breastfeed and just, you know, so when it came to diapering, I thought well of course, cloth diapering makes sense, but I also really like the the, you know, we’re saving the environment right saving the Earth, making less of an impact. I really like those effects. If it’s too, and of course, the idea of saving money, even though for us that wasn’t necessarily a reason why we decided to click paper, I liked the idea that, you know, potentially we could save money, how we
Bailey Bouwman 05:16
must monthly bill.
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 05:20
You know, I do like the fact that it’s brought me into the online cloth diapering community where I’ve connected with so many people. I shared recently with someone that with a friend, actually, that through the pandemic, the interaction in the cloth diapering community, in 2020, really saved me and it saved my mental health. It made me feel less alone. And I really feel like that was one of the more unexpected benefits of cloth diapering. I did not have that with Grayson. So with Grayson, I felt overwhelmed. I think I was in one big group. You know, where they were giving out all the all the guidance on how to care,
Bailey Bouwman 06:09
sometimes in big groups, and it’s less less like there’s no opportunity for relationship.
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 06:15
Yeah. And there wasn’t, then there was not then it was very sort of black and white, do this or you’re doing it wrong. And so I became super overwhelmed and anxious that I was doing it wrong. And so I just didn’t go into it full, full throttle until Oh, in so I’ve been doing it 100%, cloth diapering without the anxiety for two, almost two and a half years now. Yeah. And he’s almost out. And he’s almost we’re learning to do potty. So almost done. I can’t believe
Bailey Bouwman 06:48
that it comes and goes, but and then. So through that time, you’ve also you when did you pick up with the cloth option? Like you’ve been quite a few years now, like since beginning?
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 07:00
No, I’ve not been with with the cloth option for since the beginning. So they are a nonprofit organization that began in October of 2018. And three years ago, yeah, yeah. And I and I just caught wind of the organization last year. So my last June I believe it was, I became an advocate. So I’m, I’ve been volunteering with them now for over a year.
Bailey Bouwman 07:30
Okay. I thought it had been a much longer time. Why? Why the cloth option? Why did you consider? Well, I will in first Why did you think about getting involved with supporting diaper needs within your local region? Like what what got you thinking maybe the cloth option? Were you thinking about starting your own nonprofit? Were you thinking about diaper need? Where does that I guess that’s a messy question.
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 07:55
Yeah. So I parsed I’ve participated in the flats and Washington challenge a couple of years now. I have been aware of September is the cloth is diaper need Awareness Month? Well, yes, I mean, it hosts the week of diaper need awareness. And so that I think was really what sparked it. For me, I come from a very privileged place where diaper need has never been a struggle of ours. But in relationships I’ve built online and the community, I have met many women mothers who have experienced diaper need. And I thought that it would be really lovely to be able to participate in an effort to reduce this need in our country in my local community. So when I discovered the cloth option, I thought, Oh, this is great. I mean, I loved what they stand for. And I just felt like it would be a really good fit.
Bailey Bouwman 08:58
The cloth option is different than other diaper banks in the United States. So we’ve chatted with the Salem cloth project, Milwaukee cloth, diaper bank, and Katie, which are all three different models. And so today, I’m excited because Katie, you’re going to talk about the cloth option, which is a different model, again, about diaper banks. And so Katie had mentioned that she was an advocate, what does that role of an advocate and maybe how does the cloth option work in a way that’s different than some of the diaper banks that maybe I just referenced? A few. Yeah. You know,
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 09:31
I will admit I, while I’m familiar with those organizations or banks, I don’t know what their models are. So I learned I really
Bailey Bouwman 09:41
Oh, so their models is that they’re just like they’re super. They’re homegrown that they only serve a local area. But the cloth is a national bank with local advocates in each area, right. So it’s more Yes. Satellites, lots of different advocates Exactly. work places. So how does your role as an admin Get work within this larger community, how does that work with you? Okay, complain about your role.
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 10:06
So there’s two different types of advocacy within the cloth option, you can volunteer to be an outreach advocate, which focuses energies on reaching out to the local community and informing them about the cloth option, educating them about cloth diapering, and providing support, asking, you know, local businesses around for donations or support in other ways by maybe presenting brochures to be available for customers that come in things like that. Then there’s the distribution advocate, which you know, that while they might do some outreach as well, the focus there is to collect donations, local donations, and process the diapers. So when I say process diapers, I mean, stripping them sanitizing them weeding through the donations and figuring out you know, what can be used again, and getting it ready to be sent to another family. So we package them up, and we ship them out when they’re ready, we curate all the boxes 15 to 20 changes per loan. And, and that’s kind of what I’ve fallen into, at first i i applied to do outreach only. But because I’m the only advocate in Las Vegas, I kind of fell into the advocacy. I mean, I’m sorry, the distribution work, which I’m fine with, I felt like gosh, you know, no one’s going to collect these, these donations, where are they going to go? I can’t just let them go in the trash. Families need these diapers. So I’ve been doing that. And I’m glad that it turned out that way for me.
Bailey Bouwman 11:53
So in general, if somebody wanted to be an advocate with the class option, they’ve got kind of two options is what I’m hearing, they can be a distribution where they’re really working hands on providing with supporting, or they can kind of be in a more information based role where they’re supporting people if they’ve got questions or concerns.
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 12:11
Right, and just educating them about the cloth option being a resource for them.
Bailey Bouwman 12:16
Okay. That’s like I was thinking about, we have a cloth for a cause in Canada, and we were I just had a meeting. And yeah, when we put our heads together, there’s so many different parts. When it comes to advocating about access to diapers. And some of us we’re doing definitely that more outreach, like Zoey definitely does a lot of connections with local nonprofits and people who might know people who will need diapers. And then the other woman, she does a lot of that outreach. So almost like a similar it can see why those two channels broke up naturally. So our Do you have? Do you have other volunteers in your area? Do you work just solo? Is that common? If you are working just solo or do people tend to kind of maybe grab a chapter does it a chapter, what happens? How does that
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 13:08
look like? So at the moment, we don’t have chapters, I believe most of us work solo in our areas, most of the advocates in TCO are more toward the east coast area. And then as you go west, it becomes a little bit more sporadic and spread out. So if you’re listening, and you happen to be in Hawaii, or California, we do really need advocates in these areas, particularly so please apply. Yeah.
Bailey Bouwman 13:43
Well, I, who was I? I was chatting with, I sat him with an upcoming brand out of California. And that’s what she was like, I just like I want to do it. I want to keep it. Oh, sorry. The rain literally just fell out of the sky from nowhere. She was like, I’m looking for a diaper bank. But there’s nothing really locally like but even a local advocate we could we looked it up on the website and there wasn’t much even for local advocates. So but this idea of running a whole chapter like Megan and Kaylee recommended like opening up a diaper bank. Like that’s way too big. The cloth option sounds like a better choice for me to do local advocating. Do you need to have any skill sets or skills or knowledge? Or do you How does the cloth option support you in development? Oh, absolutely.
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 14:30
criteria in there. There’s, it’s, you know, you you apply you have an interview. So it’s, you know, it’s all pretty formal, and it’s very well. Formal, but informal. I mean, they want to know who you are. They want to know where you come from. And I think the most important thing is where your heart is. You don’t have to be super experienced or actively cloth diapering a child. There is definitely ongoing support with that after her after you’re accepted. You Have an onboarding process to learn the ins and outs of advocacy, whether your outreach or distribution, how to access resources. And then we have a facebook group page where all the advocates can come together and share experiences, ask questions, the board will, will come on and share impact reports and things like this. But there’s always room and time for learning and growth. I don’t think that there’s necessarily like, you know, prerequisites, you just, I think that if you your philosophy, and your heart align with the core values of, of the cloth option, and that’s the best place to start. So that the cloth option core values are integrity, community, social justice, and equity, and sustainability. If those four things are something that you align with that are important to you that you value, then I think that it’s a good start at being a good fit. Awesome. Well, that
Bailey Bouwman 16:01
was my next question. Like, what were those values? And you went straight into that? Do you? Do you ever feel like being a single advocate is too much work or not enough work?
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 16:13
I definitely don’t think it’s not enough work. Right, so here’s the thing, too, that I wanted to mention before is that if you are wanting to donate your diapers, or if you are a wanting or needing diapers, and you’re wanting to be a recipient, and there’s no advocate in your area, you can still reach out to the cloth option, they will find the nearest nearest advocate to you. So right now I’m shipping a lot of packages to California, you know, in Arizona. And so if anyone has access to the cloth option, no matter where you are, and I wanted to make that clear, as far as donations, the same thing applies. So if you’re in Arizona, there’s not a local advocate there, they will help you with a discounted shipping label to send it to me who’s your closest advocate?
Bailey Bouwman 17:12
I’m on the cloth option website. And you guys, there’s this really awesome little map, and you can see if there isn’t or isn’t, or who’s your closest and what it is, is it a distribution? Is it like somewhere you can just donate drop off diapers? Or is it somewhere that you can reach out to for like, what, what your roles are?
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 17:30
Right? So yeah, so there’s there’s a whole process and many, many options like, currently, I don’t have set up a drop off in my area, for example. But when I get contacted to receive a donation, I will either pick up from them or we’ll arrange to meet somewhere. So we whatever it takes, it gets figured out. But different advocates have drop off locations established?
Bailey Bouwman 18:00
Well, I just I was the one that I clicked on was, oh, that you can drop it off at like call. There’s like different retailers across the United States who take in cloth option donations. Yeah, so there’s, I clicked on bundle bundle baby in Colorado Springs, like you can drop off at their facilities and stuff.
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 18:17
So those advocates established those drop off locations. Yeah,
Bailey Bouwman 18:20
yeah. Okay. Yeah.
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 18:23
I’m sorry. I didn’t I didn’t even answer your question. As far as time goes, like, it’s definitely a lot of work. Yeah. So I do want it you know, I, anyone who’s interested in becoming a volunteer has to now especially if you’re going for the distribution aspect of it is that you have to be willing to put in that time, it does take time and dedication, it also takes up room in your house. So these are things to consider, you know, do you have the room? Do you have the time? Are you going to be okay, in making that time. Because if you’re anything like me, sometimes you become overwhelmed with all the things you have to do in such little time. So you want to take care of your mental health. But you know, if it’s better for you to not spend so much time on distribution, then maybe go for the advocacy, there’s different ways to support the cloth option than just volunteering to.
Bailey Bouwman 19:18
That was gonna be my next question is like do you have? Are there any recommendations? Is the cloth option needing other types of volunteers? How can we support the cloth option? In general, like from your perspective, I know like you’re just an advocate for the whole, right, I
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 19:34
don’t want to speak for the for the cloth option as an organization, but these are just my ideas on how people who may not have the time and resources to dedicate to being a distribution advocate, how they can still support the organization. And one of those is simply to connect with the nearest advocate to you and maybe ask them what they need. Do they need packaging tape right like Do they need printing paper? Do they need printing ink? Are you willing to help them with these kinds of materials to help them create their packages? You could. Obviously, you could donate, you could donate your diapers, if you don’t have diapers to donate, you can donate, obviously, monetarily. But you can also donate those supplies, right, the tape and and the the paper, the, the ink. There’s all kinds of things that you can do. If you happen to have an an advocate in your area. You can connect and ask them if they need help with sanitizing and stripping diapers. You can ask them if they need help. Picking up donations, and things like that, I think are huge opportunities for support.
Bailey Bouwman 20:51
When I mentioned the cloth for cause and one of our last chapter to conversations, was that something Yeah, it’s not just diapers that a lot of times that a nonprofit needs that was cloth for cars, we repair diapers. So they’re like, We need thread, needles. We need like we need all these other things. And then yes, you brought up shipping your shipping diapers. So yeah, you’re in it you printer, paper, packing tape, small boxes, things that you mentioned the repairs.
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 21:18
That’s a wonderful, wonderful way to help out your local advocate, I am seriously staring at a big trash bag full of diapers that need repair. So if you’re in the Vegas area, and you’re listening to this, I am begging you to please come help me
Bailey Bouwman 21:47
fits in with a little chat conversation with Yeah, diaper repairs. And like for anybody listening to if you’re thinking about donating your diapers, if you can take the 10 minutes to kind of give a quick repair. I mean, if you can’t, but if you can, it can really help out. relieve some of that pressure off what is essentially like a core group of 50 people across North America that are supporting different need and doing a lot of repairs. Yeah. Repairs are I don’t have the patience for it. Yes, I don’t I
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 22:23
find that I don’t either. And I just would rather dedicate my time to something else. But eventually I’m going to have to start chipping away at this. In fact, I really did reach out to some people in my community. I don’t know if you’re familiar if you have in Canada that the next door app? Oh, yes. Yes.
Bailey Bouwman 22:39
I got a bear warning today. Yeah. That’s fine.
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 22:45
I, I reached out to and I was like, Are there any so it’s in my area who would be willing to volunteer their skill and their time to help me and this was in December. So I’m gonna have to do it again. It ended up not panning out. But I did have some interest. But But ultimately, no one. No one ended up helping me.
Bailey Bouwman 23:05
Maybe you didn’t find the right person? I think Megan at Milwaukee diaper has like a, like a sewing group that she’s connected with or something like sometimes you can find the right group. Like
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 23:19
I’m on it. Bailey, they just down the street there. Oh, they’re opened the most random store in my area. And it’s all about sewing. They do classes. They sell products, and I cannot wait to storm in they’re
Bailey Bouwman 23:36
like, oh, you know what, like, sometimes you think about the obvious things like, oh, I want to advertise and promote how to cloth diaper store. But sometimes it’s a little less obvious places that are like also really great connections. Yeah, very, I was talking from Karen from Regan gig on the phone a couple weeks ago. And she was like, I met a grandma at a campsite. And suddenly, I had a big order the next day for her grandchild. Like, you just get some. Sometimes you find people in places you weren’t thinking of. And there’s definitely lots of great ways that we can help. I think the other one, probably like for all diaper banks is we always need to remind people that we exist and that we are serving that we but you guys are serving a function that is available.
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 24:20
Exactly. Yes. Because it sounds like
Bailey Bouwman 24:24
you’re getting a lot of interest but also that like a die out and promotion and marketing is an exhausting Never Ending
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 24:34
Story. Right? Right. And there’s also um, there’s also T shirts, that’s why I like wearing the cloth option t shirt around, you know for the off chance that maybe someone cares, or notices or has an interest and wants to ask me a question.
Bailey Bouwman 24:52
So I think carrying around my water ball with cloth diaper stickers as well like just begging somebody notice, I think Amanda Jessup who wrote the book she’s designed she often puts together a couple of the designs that go to the contest or how do you guys
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 25:09
Yeah, and you know it for anyone listening, you can get these T shirts through the cloth option. org website, under Get get involved. Click on Get involved and then you can click on TCO swag and there’s options to purchase different graphics. And in this supports us to so every shirt sold helps diapers provide diapers for families.
Bailey Bouwman 25:35
And the cloth option is one of the the only ones shipping providing diapers and a rural for rural like people who are not outside of big cities. You guys work with Jake’s diapers, they to get diaper supplies when Jake’s has them. And that was my Oh, and the cloth option has a lot of partners with cloth diaper brands. Many of our favorite brands have support worked with you I know that you work with baby boo because she’s there in Vegas. But lots of them partner with the cloth option to provide diapers and stuff. So lots of great partners when it comes to brands and retailers as well.
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 26:18
It’s it makes my heart so happy to be able to include in a box a brand new baby Boo Flex cover with a matching wet bag, you know, or like Oh, I got a brand new, huge prefolds and diaper package from oh so cozy. Just so amazing to be able to offer new new items to families you know, it’s such a joy to be able to include those in them in a package and now yeah, that’s another thing you know, local to me, baby boo diapers TIA is just an amazing person. And not only has social media brought us together, but so has the cloth option because I’ve gone to pick up donations from her. And I just love her heart and I love being able to know her and have her you know, in my, in my area and now consider her a friend. It’s been really really nice getting to know her.
Bailey Bouwman 27:15
Yeah, she’s such an incredible member of this community and so busy you have you had any like amazing moments over the last year that I’ve just been like, Yes, this is this is what I supposed to be doing.
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 27:31
Oh, um, I feel like I have this moment, every time I drop off a package, I’m like, every time I drop off the package to be shipped out to a family, I get that feeling. Yeah. And I, I I’m excited, I’m happy to be able to support or be a part of that of offering that kind of support. It feels really nice to work as a collective with with the cloth option. And the other advocates. We have an amazing board. They they really work hard, and I respect each and every one of them for what they’ve put together. So it feels it feels nice to be a part of that. So in ways I yeah, I my that feeling of yes, this is what I’m supposed to be doing comes every time I complete a package every time I ship it out. You know, it’s really exciting to me, there are some parts of the whole process that I don’t enjoy as much like stripping. I don’t really enjoy that or sanitizing. But when it comes time to putting the box together and like this is fun, it’s totally worth it.
Bailey Bouwman 28:46
Because I one little ponder that I had was like, Do you ever feel lonely? But you definitely answered that question like being part even though you’re the advocate in your region, you don’t feel lost or on a ship. Like you’re still part of a community. I think that’s probably a really important aspect.
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 29:05
Yeah, absolutely. And you know that there’s weekly zoom meetings for anyone who needs support. There, the door is always open at TCO. And like I said, with the facebook group page, you know, we can chime in there at any time to ask questions or just you know, kind of see what’s up with other advocates in their areas. So no, I’ve never felt alone.
Bailey Bouwman 29:30
Sometimes, sometimes you get on with a nonprofit, and maybe you’re the only one and it can be it can feel like a little bit of a satellite or I live in rural, northern base. It’s not that rural, but I live in random part of the country where there’s not a lot of other people and we have a local chapter from my local nonprofit. But we always feel super disconnected from all the chapters in the big cities because I get to do all the fun things and it’s like, Man, I wish we live somewhere else or oh man like we miss out on everything but it’s Sounds like you guys are this big, strong network. You’re all kind of scattered across the country. So it works that we’re all coming together online, I think a lot of the pandemic has taught us is that there’s so much greatness that we can also do online, like we don’t have to make. Absolutely, we can do so much work online, and just make huge differences and collaborations.
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 30:24
Yeah, the connections that have been made. And if I may just share the impact. You know, just this past month, August, we TCO has served 135 families and in total 160 Children, that’s just in August of this past year. So that’s an approximate number of 2400 cloth changes, and almost 500,000 disposable diapers replaced
Bailey Bouwman 30:53
and 135 lives have changed, because a lot of times like these have families or they don’t there’s no money for diapers.
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 31:01
Right, right. And going back to diaper need, you know, 64.4% of those who received a package from us last month reported being on a receiving public assistance. So we know that we are reaching those families who do actually have that need, and we are actually helping to reduce that need.
Bailey Bouwman 31:26
And making it just like a little bit easier every month.
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 31:30
Oh, yeah, absolutely. Program life totals. So the total since January 1 of 2019, when when the diaper packages started to be distributed, there have been almost 4000 children served. That’s almost 60,000 changes, distributed, and almost 12 million disposables replaced. So the environmental impact too, is really important to know,
Bailey Bouwman 32:01
the environmental impact and the just like the economic impact for families, especially going through a pandemic, where so many of us have had our entire lives changed. So literally, yeah. What was I thought, a cloth diaper brand, this organization, this question, so I don’t mean to be picking on you. But I’m curious, do you find that a lot of your families are really eager and they continue to cloth diaper? Long term? Is it something that is sustainable for families?
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 32:38
Is is cloth diapering? Yes,
Bailey Bouwman 32:41
Maria. Yeah. Do you ever find? Do you get a lot of people who like it? Is life changing? And it works for them for the next year? Or do you find that it’s more curiosity? I don’t know. Like, do you find it? Is it impactful, I guess, but I don’t want to pick on you. So I was I
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 32:59
don’t want to assume right. But but being that most of the families I’ve sent packages out to are receiving public assistance. My inclination is to believe that it is absolutely impacting them for the better. Whether or not they find it sustainable is kind of unknown to me. I can’t tell I can’t say that I get the packages back very quickly. So I’m hoping that they’re being used,
Bailey Bouwman 33:25
I guess was like, if you’re getting immediate returns, maybe we’ll be like,
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 33:30
but no, that’s not happening. I know. And I have had a cup a few. So when a recipient receives a newborn package, when the baby’s outgrown those diapers, we send them a one size package when they’re ready. They send back the newborn package, and then we ship them out a one size package. And I’ve done a handful of those. So that kind of tells me that cloth diapering has been sustainable. But I kind of had to chuckle because it reminds me of my job as a therapist is that, you know, it can be a thankless job, which is fine. Right? That’s we’re not here to be thanked. Right. But, but I oftentimes don’t know the impact I’ve made as a therapist on people who leave my office, you know, because it’s that it’s just not common feedback to get. So even though we send out monthly emails, I do a one week check in after they’ve received the package. I don’t often get a response, you know, and that’s cool. That’s totally fine. My goal is just to let them know I’m there in case they do have a hiccup or have a question that they know that they can contact me. But you know, for the most part there’s curiosity there’s need I think that mix of factors leads them down to to making cloth happen for themselves and we’re just really happy to be a part of that
Bailey Bouwman 34:57
recently. I find that people just Like, come around, like three years later, they’ll just like pop into your inbox and be like, I have a five year old now. But remember, when you talked to me about diapers five years ago, I’d be like, no, no, no. We’ll pretend like, oh, yeah, that’s been like a weird trend. People will, like, becomes around like, years later I find be like, okay, cool. This is why we’re doing it. So if somebody was I think we were just talking about need. So if somebody was listening, and they needed diapers, where can they apply? How can they apply? Is that all done in one place? Do you find your advocate? What’s that process.
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 35:39
So you’re gonna go to the cloth option.org. And you will find a link under the drop down menu that says apply for assistance. So you’ll click on that link. And you’ll get all the information there on how it works and how many diapers you’re you can expect to receive what kind of cloth diapers, and then there are a list of required documents that they need from you to have a completed application. And you can apply right there online, or you have the option of downloading the paper application form and mailing it in if that’s what works best for you. And then you’re contacted by by one of the members of the class option to get that process going.
Bailey Bouwman 36:29
Awesome. Yes, that is it’s pretty simple process. And it sounds scary documents, but it’s not really they’re just trying to prove that you have a baby. Right? And no, you live somewhere. It looks like a pretty easy process. So the cloth option.org. And you’ll be connected with the right person for you to move on to the next steps if it’s going to be a good fit. And if you’re thinking about becoming working with the cloth option, there’s also there’s a place to apply for an advocate here. Right.
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 37:06
Right. We’re dropping.
Bailey Bouwman 37:09
Yeah, or you had mentioned see if you’ve got someone local to connect with if they need help. If there’s already an advocate in your city, can you still apply to be an advocate?
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 37:18
Oh, yeah. Yeah, absolutely. The more the merrier.
Bailey Bouwman 37:22
While I was there, like maybe it’s just one person, and now you should only help. Or multiple advocates. Approved advocates come together in a team? Maybe I guess,
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 37:33
yeah, for that, too. Yeah. Um, I haven’t been met with that option quite yet. But I’m hoping so maybe sometime. But again, if you live in Hawaii, we actually really need someone in Hawaii like badly. So that would be in California. We need more advocates in California. So if you know anybody
Bailey Bouwman 37:52
in Hawaii, but there are a lot of people in California, so come on, guys.
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 37:58
And I also wanted to mention with recipients, you do not have to have a washer and dryer. So in case that was a concern, that Oh, I really do need these diapers, but I don’t have a washer and dryer. Can I still apply? Yes, we can send you a hand washing package.
Bailey Bouwman 38:13
Good to know, is there any specific type of cloth diapers that chapters are looking for? Or just the more the merrier? So
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 38:21
I think it’s really the more the merrier. Currently, I have a healthy balance of all different cloth diaper types. I might be running low on inserts, but that is really going to vary heavily from advocate to advocate depending on just what they have in their inventory.
Bailey Bouwman 38:38
Yeah, and the time of year because I was thinking my local chapter is really struggling with newborn diapers right now. But she’s like if it asked me six months ago, I had more diapers than I knew what to deal with. So I I, Katie and I from the from Jake’s diapers, we had a conversation one day and she was like, a desperately need flat diapers. And then when I actually scheduled her podcast interview, I was like, So what do you need now? And she was like, not flats, anything but flat. Swimming in flats. These things can be such a floating change for the the support system, right? Yeah, people.
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 39:16
I actually don’t have any floats. So I retract my statement from before everything else I have a healthy balance. So I don’t have thoughts either. So I could use some flaps.
Bailey Bouwman 39:26
But by the time this podcast comes out, you’ll probably maybe you’ll have a choirboy reach out to Katie ask her directly, but she’ll just take anything as well.
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 39:38
We do not deny donations. I mean, yeah, if the PUL is ruined, then yeah, probably not. But if it’s work, if it works, then we will take it.
Bailey Bouwman 39:49
Ul there’s not a lot of fixes out there guys. It just kind of has to get you can textile recycle it in some areas. So I think that’s like We’ve answered kind of all the questions, we’ve gone through all of these amazing things that the cloth option is doing that you’re doing, how people can get involved, whether they need diapers. If you’re looking for Katie directly, she has a great Instagram page where she talks about diapers for the love of fluff underscore.
Katie Hair, Advocate for the Cloth Option 40:21
Right? That’s right for the love of flush underscore, and then I am an admin of the cloth diaper Haven on Facebook, which is just a general cloth diapering group. It is a kind of safe space. So we welcome anyone to find us there on Facebook as well. We just talk about all the good things about cloth diapering and support one another and help one another.
Bailey Bouwman 40:49
Thank you, Katie for sharing some information about the cloth option, sharing about your role, your work that you’ve been doing with it. And I am so proud and so lucky to have gotten to know you over the last couple of years. Your role in the cloth diaper community is one that I admire too. And thank you for joining me and sharing and I hope maybe somebody is inspired through the series to become an advocate for the cloth option or to maybe start your own diaper bank. If you have a story to share the cloth diaper podcast or wants to hear them. Send me an email at Bailey at cloth diaper podcast.com And we’ll get that in motion. Podcasts will be for 2022 Can you believe it? It’s almost 2022 Anyways, no story is too big. No story is too small. And I also want to repeat stories. It’s been three or four years the parents who were listening to the cloth diaper podcast today. Some of them are the same but some of them are new and different parents who are ready and excited to hear what you have to say about your story diapering
Professional Cloth Diaper Educator
Bailey brings 5+ years of cloth diapering experience and conversation to the cloth diaper space. She's not just your every day mom blogger sharing her experience - Bailey is immersed in the cloth diaper community learning from other parents and growing as an individual. She wants to find the cloth diaper solution that truly works for you.
Bailey believes we need to stop and listen to cloth diapering parents. We need to recognize our own bias and preferences and focus on solutions that work for you, not us. The Cloth Diaper community needs to recognize the privilege of being able to cloth diaper, and provide spaces for more conversations and stories.
Cloth diapering is not about rules but about our own strength as parents to do the best we can for our children with the resources available.