At first glance, a diaper bank and a group of healthcare finance professionals might seem like an odd pairing. But look a little closer at the relationship between HFMA’s Arizona Chapter and the Diaper Bank of Central Arizona, and you’ll see a committed partnership working to address a critical community need.
How it started
A philanthropy project has been a popular feature of the Arizona Chapter’s Women Lead HERe Conference since its inception 10 years ago. When the Chapter was looking for a nonprofit partner for its November 2021 event, a member suggested the Diaper Bank of Central Arizona, which collects and distributes diapers for the one in three families who struggle to afford them. Few federal assistance programs cover diaper costs. Not being able to afford diapers makes it difficult for parents to keep their children clean and healthy. A lack of disposable diapers also often means a baby can’t attend childcare, interfering with the parents’ ability to work, only exacerbating the situation.
Upon learning about this need in their community, the Arizona Chapter’s HERe conference planning committee agreed it had found its new philanthropy.
“We were in complete awe after hearing the staggering statistics around diaper need and immediately seized the opportunity to collaborate with the Diaper Bank,” said Kelly Bauer, CHFP, MS, senior service line manager at Centauri Health Solutions in Phoenix and the Chapter’s communications chair.
How it's going
The Arizona Chapter believed so strongly in the cause that it committed to supporting the Diaper Bank for a full year as opposed to making it a one-time event. The goals were to increase awareness of the need, raise funds and collect diapers at each of the Chapter’s three conferences during 2021-22. Members participated in the Diaper Bank’s staging days to see firsthand how diapers are distributed. Individual members also promoted the cause on social media, prompting donations from across the state.
“We continue to be amazed at the way our Chapter community members show up and support our philanthropic efforts,” said Bauer. “They’ve participated in both packing and education sessions and have seized every opportunity to donate packs of diapers and financial contributions.”
As a result of these efforts, the Chapter has donated more than 7,500 diapers and $8,000 to the Diaper Bank of Central Arizona.
How it looks moving forward
But the story doesn’t end there. HFMA’s Arizona Chapter is continuing its partnership with the Diaper Bank through the current chapter year. This year, the focus is on the organization’s period poverty campaign. The Chapter recently raised more than $1,500 in 48 hours and packed just shy of 5,000 period products to help low-income women and girls in Arizona.
Bauer believes her Chapter’s ongoing successful collaboration with the Diaper Bank is due to its members working in healthcare and their unique position to directly see the needs of the community.
“There’s a desire to make an individual and collective impact in the lives of young women and families within our own community,” said Bauer. “We could never have imagined the support we’ve received.”