PINELLAS PARK, Fla. - Under normal circumstances, having a baby is expensive. Even before the coronavirus pandemic, one in three families struggled to buy diapers. Now, with more than 30 million Americans unemployed, the need is even greater.
When Deanna Shattenkirk, wife of Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, went on a recent trip to Target, she was shocked to see empty shelves in the baby supply aisles.
"I just thought, 'What would you do if you couldn't get diapers or wipes right now?' So, I did some research and I linked up with the National Diaper Bank," said Deanna.
What she found out broke her heart.
"I am learning so much about it. There's 5 million kids under the age of 3 that live in low-income families and that's under a normal circumstance," said Deanna.
In addition to dropping off lunch for the hardworking healthcare workers at Tampa General Hospital, Deanna and a few other Lightning wives and partners are spreading awareness about the local need for family assistance.
"Kevin and I are so grateful that we are in the position we are in. So, anything that we can do to help anybody we want to do it. To put ourselves in these people's shoes, that they can't get diapers for their babies, it's awful," said Deanna.
They teamed up with the National Diaper Network and Babycycle Diaper Bank in Pinellas Park to spread awareness about the current diaper shortage.
Babycycle founder Torrie Jasuwan says they are in desperate need of diapers sizes 4-6, pull-ups, baby wipes. They also have an Amazon wish list to make donating easier.
Learn more by heading to Babycycle's website.