Sharing the Cloth Diaper Love

Posted 04-6-2011 at 07:58 AM by Ellen

As a new cloth diaper user, one who failed miserably with her first child, I can safely say I never in my life thought I would EVER say this: I am crazy and passionate about cloth diapering!

Only those who have done it or are doing it can really understand. It is addictive. Poo and pee and laundry aside, it is great for the environment, your baby, and saves you money. Not to mention they look pretty cute too.

Three mamas from Bloomington, Indiana also share a passion for cloth diapering. So much so, in fact, that they wanted to give other families the opportunity to try it.

Specifically, these moms wanted to help families facing financial hardships. They knew that families with low income could benefit the most by using cloth diapers – saving them an estimated $2000 per baby. However, they are the same families that would find it impossible to save up a few hundred dollars to buy a stash of cloth diapers.

That is why, just this year, Caela, Sara and Rachel decided to start Heiny Helpers. “By providing reusable cloth diapers to families facing financial hardship, we enable parents to do something better than throw their money in the trash. Not to mention help the environment at the same time.”

In less than two months, Heiny Helpers will have saved 126,000 disposables from landfills. Eighteen babies are now in full-time cloth diapers, with 11 currently waiting to receive diapers.

Generous contributions from individuals in the community and, thanks to social media, donations from other states have greatly helped Heiny Helpers to hit the ground running. Just the other day co-founder Caela said she felt overwhelmed with gratitude learning about a mom in Indianapolis donating 120 pocket diapers – that is enough to help five low-income families. “I can see the relief in their eyes,” says Caela, “knowing that they never have to buy diapers again.”

One of the applicants was completely out of cash to buy any diapers when she came in to meet with the Heiny Helpers. She left with a full cloth diaper stash saying, “I don’t know what I’m going to do with that $80 a month. I can use it for groceries. Maybe I can even buy myself a new shirt or something.”

“I have been most surprised at the support we’ve gotten from other parts of the country,” says Caela. “There aren’t a lot of programs like ours in the U.S. In fact, as far as I can tell, there aren’t any that are locally-based, grassroots organizations like ours. So there are a lot of people out there in other parts of the country who are willing to help us here in Indiana, even though it’s not a local thing for them. This makes sense because any child in cloth diapers really helps all of us – thousands upon thousands of diapers kept out of a landfill affects everyone, not just the folks here in Bloomington.”

The Domestic Yogi: How many families would you like to help this year?

Heiny Helpers: At this point, we are helping every family that qualifies. We are pretty much just bringing diapers/cash in and then sending them out again. In less than two months of existence, we have helped 15 families and have 13 in the pipeline. If we continue at our current rate that will look like 162 babies this year. I can’t imagine we’ll be able to fund that, but we can only hope to get more donations, because there is definitely a need for help.

The three of us meet with each family one-on-one and we are having meetings every week. It’s exhausting but energizing all at the same time.

DY: How responsive and helpful has the cloth diaper companies been with you?

HH: We have received great support from cloth diaper companies. Our first donation was from Thirsties. We emailed them to see about using some of their stock photos on our website and print materials. They quickly responded with a “yes” and then sent us six hemp prefolds and two covers – without us asking! We were touched.

Then Abby at The Green Nursery helped us by asking the other companies they work with for donations. So far, we have received donations from Thirsties, Cotton Babies, GroVia, Rockin Green, and a Swaddlebees shipment is on the way.

By far, the most generous contribution has been from GroVia. They sent us 195 discontinued AIOs, 65 fitteds, and 26 diaper covers. Amazing!


Please give less fortunate families a chance to save money, help the environment, and perhaps awaken their deep inner cloth diaper love.

Heiny Helpers is in need of financial or cloth diaper donations.

They accept donations of new or gently used cloth diapers that are still in good condition. They need to look like they’ll make it through another child; some stains are okay, but please no velcro or elastic giving out, absorbency problems, or stinky diapers.

They need:
• Prefolds and prefold covers in all sizes
• Pocket diapers and inserts
• Heavy-duty overnight inserts for pocket diapers (for example hemp inserts/prefolds)
• All-in-ones
• All-in-twos (such as GroVia or Flip system)
• Fitted diapers
• Snappis
• Large wet bags

They prefer one-sized diapers but will take sized if that’s what you have!

Please wash all donations before donating. They would greatly appreciate it if you strip your cloth diapers to remove detergent buildup and stinkies. It’s easy to do!

Donations can be mailed to:
Heiny Helpers c/o First United Church
2420 E. Third St., Bloomington, IN 47401


* Spread the word and stay informed by liking Heiny Helpers on Facebook
* Visit Heiny Helpers online to make a financial contribution, at

This article was written by our guest blogger,  Samantha King, The Domestic Yogi.


2 Responses to “Sharing the Cloth Diaper Love”

  1. corrielainedd on April 11th, 2011 2:11 pm

    Great! You’r semi-local to me, Im in Bowing Green, KY, originally from Elizabethtown(1hr south of Louisville, Ky) And have family in Evansville!

    Sounds like you have a great prgram going!
    I too like to help out other families. I have a friend, who I went to highschool with. They dont have the funds to buy diaper, cloth or disposable. So I let them borrow my newborn stash for their new baby, and bring diapers to them as my DD outgrows them. Ive also purchased FFS diapers, needing elastic or aplix, and fixed them up for them!
    It always feels great to help others! and help the earth!

  2. reneeumiami on April 20th, 2011 1:53 pm

    There’s another grassroots effort based in Middle PA that started as one woman’s lenten effort this year. Check our her facebook page at “a diaper a day to give away.” She’s accepting money for supplies for the all-in-ones she’s sewing herself, as well as T-shirts for stuffers, and local help in cutting out material.

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