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The cost of disposable diapers is nearly $1,000 a year per child, and the charitable arm of local home-builders is doing something to help families that struggle to meet the cost.

HomeAid Northern Virginia on Sept. 20 kicked off its annual “Builders for Babies” initiative, aiming to collect a record number diapers to distribute to local shelters and non-profit organizations serving vulnerable populations.

The effort runs through Dec. 15.

“The need is so great,” said Kristyn Burr, executive director and CEO of HomeAid Northern Virginia, the philanthropic arm of the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association.

Last year, the organization collected more than 30,000 diapers and 40,000 wipes as part of its outreach effort. The goal this year is 50,000 or more of each.

“This is a big stretch, [but] our community is extremely generous, so we are confident we can reach our goal,” Burr said.

The support is vital because parents cannot purchase diapers and wipes using federal SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) funding or the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) program.

Providing an adequate supply of diapers also lessens the chance that families will attempt to stretch supplies by leaving them on too long or reusing them, leading to the potential of diaper rash and discomfort.

All donations collected will be distributed to local non-profits that serve families and single parents with young children.

Organizations receiving diapers have included Bethany House and Alive! House in Alexandria; Patrick Henry Family Shelter and Northern Virginia Family Services Falls Church; Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter/LAWS and Loudoun Homeless Service Center in Leesburg; Cornerstones and Shelter House in Fairfax County; Catholic Charities and ACTS in Prince William County; Fauquier Emergency Family Shelter in Fauquier County; and many more.

Individuals, organizations and groups are being encouraged to host a diaper drive in their community as part of the initiative. Those interested in doing so can contact Cilda Pretorious at (703) 953-3252 or

cpretorius@homeaidnova.org. Participating firms and individuals also can schedule a time to drop off donations at the HomeAid office in Chantilly, or send them directly to the office through the Amazon Wish List.

The diaper initiative is one facet of HomeAid Northern Virginia’s philanthropic efforts. Over the years, the organization also has completed more than 160 construction projects that together have supported more than 197,000 vulnerable individuals in the local area.