“In any ordinary place, on any ordinary day, the parable can live again, when one will kneel and one will yield. Our Saviour Servant must show us how, through the will of the water and the tenderness of the towel.”
Wow! The last Monday of the year is here! 😀
What a treat to get to meet up with you here each week in 2015. Sharing stories and bouncing ideas back and forth with you has been so much fun, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how this blog fills up throughout 2016!
As far as social media goes, I’m still not a superfan of Facebook (, but I can’t tell you how much I continue to enjoy Instagram. I find so many pictures and people and places that move me over there.
A few months ago, I woke up to this photo in my feed:
It was posted by an organization I follow called Plywood People. The caption underneath it didn’t mention where the photo was taken, but the setting looked so familiar to me, and I wondered if it was Haiti. I clicked through the DriButts tag to see.
There, I found this photo:
The caption underneath it read:
“This is a young mom in Haiti who had never seen a diaper before. We had the joy of teaching her how to keep her family free from disease. We do this because we care. Dributts.com #cloth #diaper #hope #missions“
It was Haiti! But wait- a mom that had never seen a diaper before? That sentenced burdened me to the core.
I sat there in bed for several more moments. Electrified. Clicking…reading…tears streaming. I learned that over 80% of the diseases in the world are caused by poor sanitation and that most of the people affected are children. I was horrified to read that more than 2 million kids die each year from fecal-related diseases such as dysentery, cholera, typhus fever, and typhoid.
Enter: DriButts- created by Michael and Starla Wahl. They were on a mission trip building latrines in rural Haiti when they realized how great the need for a new kind of diaper was.
They could tell very quickly that the latrines were going to be super helpful for the older kids and adults, but Michael and Starla wondered what about all the diaper-less babies and toddlers living in these villages? Obviously they were too little to use that kind of toilet. Which brought them to their next question: why were there so many diaper-less babies and toddlers in these villages? The answer: in hot climates where folks have limited resources, cloth diapers and disposable diapers aren’t really viable options. People that live in these kinds of areas don’t have access to disposable diapers, and cloth diapers are expensive and are usually made out of cotton, hemp or fleece- three materials that harbor bacteria and need to be washed in hot water with detergent. (Two things they also don’t have access to.) Cloth diapers also cause hard-to-treat rashes because they don’t breathe the way a dri-fit or bamboo fabric would.
Doing nothing wasn’t an option for Michael and Starla, so they went home determined to find a product that would help. They wanted to find a diaper that worked in hot climates, and was hand washable, reusable, highly absorbent and quick drying. One that would fight against bacteria (not harbor it) and be cooler for the kiddos to wear. After an exhaustive search, they couldn’t find a diaper that met all those specifications.
So they made one…
…and DriButts was born! 🙂
I was immediately inspired to reach out to Michael and Starla, and I was SO excited to read that they were only a couple of hours away from us, in the Atlanta area. I just had to hug the people who actually saw this incredible idea all the way through! I found their email address on the DriButts website and typed out a message at lightning speed. Michael wrote back right away, and a few weeks later, Kevin & I and our friends, the Popes, drove to Marietta to meet them. We got to see, feel, and hear all about the diapers firsthand, and I’ve been looking SO forward to telling you all about them ever since!
Okay, so, here are all the details…
DriButts diapers are made up of two super-soft parts: a durable, light weight outer shell, and a highly absorbent insert.
The outer shell has snaps all the way across both sides of it so they’ll fit most children between the ages of newborn and two.
The top can even be rolled over so that they can be worn by the teeny tiniest of babies!
The absorbent insert (which is three layers thick when folded) slides into a pocket on the inside (rear) of the diaper, and is specially designed to retain liquid and be breathable.
Because the outer shell is made of a poly/spandex blend and the insert is made of bamboo and lined with an absorbent material called “zorb”, everything dries in a fraction of the time it takes a regular cloth diaper to dry in. The outer shell dries within 25 minutes, and the absorbent insert dries within 45 minutes, and when cleaned properly, one DriButts diaper will last over two years! Isn’t that awesome!?
And here’s what else I love: Michael and Starla do “diaper drops”. Meaning, they sell as many diapers as they can by a certain date, and then they pack them all up and take them to Haiti. Here’s a photo of the diapers they brought with them on a recent drop:
The caption underneath the photo read:
“If you donated a diaper in the last 3 months, your diaper is in this pile of 800 Dributts diapers. They will all leave for Haiti on Wednesday. Thank you for saving lives! Dributts.com“
I LOVE seeing so many of them all packed up and ready to go like that!!!
Michael told me they were able to do six diaper drops in 2015 and they hope to do at least eight in 2016. (All of which are going to be open to the public if you are interested in traveling with them to Haiti, Honduras or Romania! Click here for more info: DriButts Trips) At the drops, they educate parents on how to use the diaper, how to properly dispose of human waste, how to properly clean the diaper, why they need to use it, and how it can free them from disease. They also work with leaders in the communities to make sure the diapers continue to be used correctly.
We got to take 20 Dributts diapers with us to our Sweet P’s orphanage (Three Angels Children’s Relief) when we visited in late November, and although our babe is fully potty trained, several of his cute little buddies were happy to put them to good use:
(All photos taken by Kevin and I, and shared with permission from their mamas and Three Angels)
I am so inspired by this mission, y’all. I mean, really, really inspired.
Michael and Starla could’ve easily just gone about their merry way after that first trip, but they didn’t. They went home and talked about a solution. Michael researched fabrics, and Starla and her friends got busy sewing them together around their kitchen table. They didn’t let their lack of funds stop them from getting started, and they didn’t let their lack of experience stop them from making their first batch of 800 DriButts. (700 of which were donated by Michael and Starla themselves, by the way.) In the words of the great Jedidiah Jenkins: They clawed at “impossible” things. They wore them down like water over river stones. They want to leave the world better than how they found it, and that mutual pursuit sure does color their love.
Enter: us. Me and you. Here’s what we can do…
The DriButts diapers are sold in sets of two (for $30), and by donating two diapers we can change the potential narrative for a child that currently doesn’t have any diapers. Two DriButts diapers will keep one child’s bottom covered from the time they are born, until he or she is able to use those latrines.
By donating two diapers, we strengthen a simple solution and help reduce a massive problem around the world. Plain and significant.
Here’s a link to their website if you’re interested in donating (or going on a DriButts diaper drop!) with me:
If you’ve made it all the way down to this sentence, I want to thank you for letting me gush about these diapers. 🙂 I love blogging about design and decor, but ideas like these are a part of my heartbeat, too!
“And the call is to community…the impoverished power that sets the soul free. In humility, to take the vow. That day after day, we must take up the basin and the towel.”