By: Katie Griffith, Executive Director of Over the Moon Diaper Bank in Savannah, Georgia 

As we chatted in his office, U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff tilted his phone toward us so that we could admire a photo of his lovely baby, Eva Beth. This was not a typical day in the life of a woman who runs a small diaper bank in coastal Georgia. I was participating for the first time in the National Diaper Bank Network’s Lobby Days, an annual event that brings basic needs bank leaders to Washington. We spent Day One working intensively in a small group as we learned the ins and outs of affecting policy in the interest of the families whom we serve. In Day Two, we visited Congressional offices where we met with staff and sometimes elected officials. 

Using Lobby Days to Grow Your Impact

Over the Moon Diaper Bank is relatively young (almost 5-years-old) and relatively small, though growing every day. To be honest, I had a hard time imagining myself walking the hallways of the U.S. Capitol and educating people about diaper poverty. But Georgia’s more established diaper banks were going and encouraged me to join them.  

NDBN made it easy. There was plenty of information about how to share our work with Georgia Congressional offices. NDBN even set appointments for us with those offices. 

Though my day-to-day can get quite full of counting sleeves of diapers, returning calls from partner agencies, and calculating how to make the best possible use of warehouse space – I am always an advocate. Every basic needs bank leader is. As the body of basic needs research keeps expanding, we have even more evidence to present to the public and policymakers. We can prove that poverty is especially harmful to children. We can also quantify how supplying basic needs provides tremendous benefits in health and economic independence. What we do is a great investment.  

Advancing Diaper Need Awareness

Since Lobby Days, Over the Moon has hosted two visits with U.S. Rep. Earl L. “Buddy” Carter. Congressman Carter, a pharmacist and health advocate, was new to the issue of diaper need but is investing time and energy into learning more about this issue that affects 47% of families with small children. In March, the newly formed Georgia Diaper Bank Coalition is arranging a state lobby day with the help of Zoey Craft and Lacey Gero – and the experience of NDBN’s Lobby Days has greatly prepared us for this effort. 

I will of course be at NDBN’s 2024 Lobby Days on April 9 and 10. Ending diaper need is about getting products to people who need them. It is also about changing policy so that people can better afford all their basic needs. I feel very fortunate to do this vital work with wonderful colleagues and encourage basic needs banks of all sizes to participate in Lobby Days. Together we can do great things. 

Learn more about National Diaper Bank Network Lobby Days.