By: Venise Toussaint | WCTV Eyewitness News
September 6, 2018
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Nearly one in three families in America struggles to buy diapers. Foster families are a part of that group.
More than 20,000 children are in Florida's foster care system; many of them infants and toddlers.
Now, a local organization is launching a statewide drive to collect hundreds of thousands of diapers.
John Kling's kids just love him. So much, in fact, that he can barely get a word out without his toddler clinging to his shoulder. It's a sight part of a normal day at Kling's house.
"These two boys, they drive me around all the time," he said."
But, John Kling is far from a normal dad.
"I'm a stay at home dad with all of our kids," he explained. "So, I do all of the stay at home stuff."
Stuff like lots of toys, running around and, maybe most importantly, changing diapers.
"They're huge. They're like my wallet leaving the house," he said.
He even master a routine; "Pick them up, swipe the diaper real fast and get them in the diaper as fast as possible," he shows.
The Kling's have three biological kids, one adopted son and, in the last four years, they've fostered 12 children.
"There have been tough times, but every kid we have, we love them," Kling said. "We get to give them a glimpse of what family is like and what it means to be loved. That's what all kids want, just to be loved."
He has his hands full, keeping up with the kids and all of the diapers.
"I would average about 35 diapers a week," Kling recalls.
The Klings say theybuy their diapers in bulk and they restock about once a week. One More Child, a non-profit organization, says this is the reality for many foster parents.
"I go through about two to three packages of diapers every ten days," said Sundy Goodnight with One More Child. "They're so critical and expensive."
Goodnight is a foster mom herself, and is leading One More Child's diaper drive. Last year, the group colelcted 600,000 diapers across Florida and this year, they're looking to top 800,000.
"This is something that brings wrap around support and love to a foster family who, in the middle of the night, is bringing in a child who has been removed from a horrible situation," Goodnight said.
More than 125 churches across the state made last year's diaper drive a success and this year, Celebration Baptist Church is the first in Tallahassee to get involved.
Rachel Lynn leads the church's Joy in the Morning bible study.
"When I told them about the opportunity that we have to help the community and in this way by collecting the diapers, they were elated," Lynn said. "We're a group of moms with young kids, so we have bought many diapers."
The group plans to collect at least 25 boxes of diapers for the drive.
And, for loving foster parents like Kling, every diaper counts.
"It's a huge need in the foster community and it's such a relief to have someone donate us diapers," he said.
Helping foster parents help the children who need them the most.
One More Child is looking for more churches, individuals and businesses in our area to join the diaper drive.
The drive is currently running and continues until November 11.
For more information, click here.