Ebony Koger is a Mesa Community College (MCC) student and mother of two who wanted to make it easier for student parents to get ahold of diapers. “We have diaper pantries here, but, they’re really far off.” So, she contacted the Associated Students of Mesa Community College and started the diaper driver.
“Let me be clear, it doesn’t matter if you’re a single parent because there are two parent households that struggle with diapers.” Koger said. “One out of three American families will not be able to have diapers for their baby.”
Koger explained her own struggles to find diapers was an inspiration for the drive. “You can’t calculate diapers,” Koger said, relaying that it’s not the same as stocking up on groceries. Babies are unpredictable. “With babies, anything can happen. Sometimes I had to miss school or miss work because I didn’t have my check yet to even get diapers.” Save the Family, a Mesa non-profit organization, was supportive but, closed on the weekends. “Sometimes I had to cut out old sheets (using) YouTube to try to make a cloth diaper. Getting a little creative.”
With the business of babies and work, Koger is grateful to MCC for the Children’s Center which helps her to complete her classes. “I have a second chance to get my degree. That’s why I chose this school.” The Children’s Center on the MCC Southern and Dobson campus enrolls approximately 50 children every semester. “It’s strictly per hour.” Rita Covert said, the Administrative Specialist at Children’s Center. The two classrooms watch over children ages 3-5 while MCC students are able to complete their degrees. “It is a preschool educational program, not just childcare.” Covert added, stating that three out of the four teachers hold Masters Degrees.
In addition to the diaper drive, Koger also wants to develop a diaper pantry on the MCC campus to help other student parents.
The diaper drive will take donations until December 2 when the donations will be handed off to the Mesa non-profit, Save The Family. The drive is asking for sizes newborn to size six in whites and pullups. Additionally, Koger is also asking for MCC teachers to consider giving extra credit to those students who donate. Koger will hand out these tickets to students as proof of donation.
But, Koger is not just looking to change things at MCC. She’s also talking to the Central Arizona Diaper Bank, attempting to create an even wider range of change within her community. “It doesn’t matter (if you’re a) single, partner, income. This is about babies. This can affect any family.”