ReThread Thrift is a local store that uses its funds to support their non-profit organization called DriButts that helps locals in need.
“I started DriButts in 2013,” said Michael Wahl, one of the co-founders of DriButts. “Through my church I started working in Haiti, and I realized the extreme need for water and toilets. A lot of people do not realize that 2 billion people live without access to a toilet.
“So I started to work building toilets and latrines in Haiti, and I saw the next step for us was when I saw a mom pick up a naked baby and on cue the baby poops all on the mom and she just rushes out of the house and keeps going,” continued Wahl. “They didn’t understand the concept of what bacteria is and why it makes them sick.”
While in Haiti, Wahl asked questions about the sanitation efforts there. He then found out that not a lot of babies had diapers. If they did have diapers it was just a few to go to doctor’s appointments, but when they got home the parents would take the diapers off.
“At night when everyone is in the house, that is the most important time for a baby to have a diaper on,” said Wahl. “If you are living in a little hut and seven or so people are living in it, it’s hard to stay safe, especially if the baby is moving and crawling. It can be completely unsanitary. That is why we started this idea of how we can help them not only diaper their children but educate themselves.”
When Wahl started to work and educate people about proper sanitation efforts in Haiti he saw a reduction in diaherra in the area. They knew that regular diapers probably were not the answer and that making cloth diapers would be of more long term use and help aid in proper sanitation.
“Right now we make diapers in the countries we work in and we have five ladies who sew for us in Haiti,” said Wahl. “The diapers are made out of high quality and unique products where you can wash them in a bucket of soap and water and the inside will dry in two hours and the outside will dry in about 30 minutes. They will last for four years. Each family gets around eight to nine diapers and they are good to go.”
This organization has assisted families in Haiti through teaching people about the importance of proper sanitation and distributing diapers. As the organization continues to make diapers, there are a few challenges to solve.
“COVID-19 has been interesting because the main way we fund and do distribution is through trips, churches, and conferences and all three of them have shut down,” said Wahl. “We are lucky to still have the thrift store because we were able to still fund DriButts when nothing else could. We have not stopped what we are doing but just slowed it down.”