This story began as an assignment.
Operation Breakthrough partners with HappyBottoms, an organization that helps provide diapers to babies across Kansas City. The request started there, as HappyBottoms is looking to share stories of families and children who have received diapers from their awesome organization.
The task found its way on my to-do list, and I couldn’t be more thankful. Why? It connected me to Talitha and Anthony, two Operation Breakthrough parents. Talking with them was the highlight of my week.
Talitha and Anthony have 5 children, their youngest son is 8-month-old active, happy Judah. Until now, they have always had two children in diapers at the same time. HappyBottoms has been such a blessing for them over the years. That said, the location they received diapers from recently became unavailable to them anymore. They were going to have to find a way to provide diapers for Judah. Enter; Operation Breakthrough. Judah is one of our 30+ new infants who started in our Early Childhood Program this August.
Judah is bright. Judah loves “having conversations” with his daddy. Judah also has highly sensitive skin with severe allergies. Talitha and Anthony had to get rid of almost everything they had received from his baby shower. The only type of diaper Judah can wear without painful rash breakouts are Huggies, one of the most expensive brands.
About a month ago, Talitha went to Walmart in need of Huggies diapers and a high chair for Judah. The box of diapers alone were over $50. The total of the two items exceeded $70. Upon leaving the store, she realized she didn’t have money for gas because of the purchase. Without much of a choice, she turned around and returned the diapers and high chair.
“It was such a hard decision, but I need to provide for all of my children. I prayed a lot, and headed to pick up Judah at Operation Breakthrough. I didn’t know what I was going to do.”
That same day, moments later, Talitha’s Family Advocate had a box waiting for her at OB. It was a box of not only 160 Huggies Diapers (the size of box she had just stressed so much about returning), but a box of 180 Huggies Diapers. Relief overcame her. A few minutes later, a donation came at the back door. It was a high chair.
“If I could describe our family in one word, it would be resilient. In 2015, my husband was shot in the face and in the shoulder blade. He works three jobs to provide for our family’s needs. I try to find work, but because I have a felony, it is so hard. I show up, interview, get the job, and then the same day I am told I can’t come back once they look at my record. For now, I spend my time finding the resources we need for our family, whether it’s WIC or HappyBottoms or utilizing the many services at Operation Breakthrough. We do what we need to do to provide for our family. We are so grateful for everyone who helps us along the way.
Our family, we love each other. My husband and I are a team. We present love to our children. They don’t know of the struggles. They know love. For us, our dream is to be content. We dream of the day that we don’t have to worry about how we will pay for that second bill or the next box of diapers. We don’t want to be rich. Rich people have problems too. We just want to be content. We won’t stop working hard. We know that we will get there. Our biggest dream is to be able to help other people who need it some day and bless others the way that we have been blessed.”
It is my hope that what began as an assignment turns into a friendship. Getting to know families like Talitha and Anthony moves me daily. The strength our families exhibit through everything that life throws their way is defined by the smiles across their faces, always dancing when the music comes on, and waking up each day ready to keep moving forward. It is inspiring. It is family. It is resilience.