HONOLULU (KHON2) — “A lot of people are in a sandwich position taking care of their kids and taking care of their parents. So that one thing, that simple thing of a diaper really does make a difference,” says Anne Komatsu, Aloha Diaper Bank Executive Director.
Anne Komatsu saw it firsthand while visiting her mom in Las Vegas after hearing about a father struggling to take care of his three kids.
“To see a child does not have a diaper is heartbreaking. One out of three children suffer from diaper needs and if they don’t have a diaper, they stay in the diaper all day long. So, I did some research and found that Oahu had no diaper bank,” says Komatsu.
So Komatsu started the Aloha Diaper Bank on Oahu three years ago. During a diaper donation drive last year, she realized kupuna needed them too.
“5,000 of those diapers were kupuna diapers. We never turn a diaper away so, we thought let’s take in the kupuna diapers. Low and behold we found out that it was a need, a big need,” says Komatsu.
Supplies are available for pickup at the Aloha Diaper Bank at Windward Mall.
“They can just come down. If they have diapers to donate, they can come to donate. If they know people that need kupuna diapers, please come in and come get for them because sometimes they can’t leave their homes or their caregivers can’t leave them,” says Komatsu.
Komatsu, a mother of three, is also going through her own transition and is now a long-distance caregiver to her mom in Las Vegas.
“I’m a mother of three. I have 3 daughters and they finally all got married last year so we’re empty nesters. Yay! But now my life has transitioned to my mother who lives all the way in Las Vegas. It’s been an everyday phone call. She’s 89 years old and still driving around in Las Vegas. Caregiving that way is a little stressful, very stressful,” says Komatsu.
As we approach Mother’s Day, Komatsu offers this piece of encouragement to all moms.
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“You’re the best caregiver! We are the best. We sacrifice a lot but just know that you are the best caregivers to all, to your kids, mom, and dad, to anybody, you’re the ones that can make a big difference. So, keep it up because you know nobody can be a better caregiver than you,” says Komatsu.
For more information on Aloha Diaper Bank and how you can get involved, view https://www.alohadiaperbank.org/