Today in LOOK, Some Cops ARE GOOD: Maryland Officer Bennett Johns buys some diapers.
No, not for HIMSELF. Officer Johns responded to a local store for a shoplifting call. When he found that the 20-year-old mother charged was short the $15 she needed for diapers, he bought them for her.
In an era when cops so often make news for being awful, it's always a nice change of pace when they aren't.
Boy it sure is lucky someone had a camera! Imagine if this guy bought diapers and it wasn't front page news all over the world!
Laurel PD said in a statement: "Officer Johns considered the situation and then made the decision to purchase the diapers out of his own pocket so that the young child would not suffer."
And the heavens opened up and the Lord God him(her)self came down to welcome Officer Johns into eternal salvation.
While this is a good time to offer praise for a police officer's kindness, it's an even better time to talk about what it's like to be a young mother who can't afford diapers.
We don't know this mom's personal situation, but we do know this:
- The average baby needs a LOT of diaper changes every day. (8-10 diapers a day)
- The average package of diapers costs from $8 to $15.
- That is a lot of money for something you throw in the trash.
- Yes, you can buy diapers inexpensively in bulk, but you need a warehouse subscription to do so (Costco), and not everybody has the money on hand to purchase things in bulk — even if they're technically cheaper in the long run.
- Baby products are frequently cited as some of the most frequently shoplifted items in the entire country — a country where 1 out of 11 people shoplift, often for necessities such as OTC medicine and meat.
- Baby formula is so expensive and sought-after that there is literally a black market for it.
- 1 out of 3 moms has had to choose whether to give her baby diapers or food.
Even with programs like WIC, lots of moms and babies fall through the cracks. Only certain infant formulas are covered by WIC — should your baby need a specific brand of formula due to allergies or other sensitivities, you're just out of luck. Besides — WIC was designed to supplement the nutrition of mothers and infants, not cover it entirely.
Back pat for the guy paying for the diapers, but it's the momma we should be talking about.
And don't talk to me about cloth diapers. Yes, using cloth diapers will save money overall. But the startup costs are often prohibitive — several hundred dollars. And if you don't have an in-house washing machine, you're left with either taking a load of shitty stinky diapers to a laundromat OR hand washing them. No.
Officer Johns is a good guy, no doubt. But it's really this mom we should be talking about.
Would you like to help a struggling family? Go to Baby2Baby.com for more information.