Like many of you, when I saw the photo of a father squatting on a bathroom floor changing his son's diaper in his lap, I was shocked. I really shouldn’t have been, though, because I’ve been in those exact shoes before. When my daughters were young, I would often have to make due with no changing table in the men's bathroom or go all the way back to the car to change my daughter's diapers. It was a frustrating inconvenience for me anytime I was out with my daughters alone.
All that to say, I know exactly what Donte Palmer was feeling in that moment as he was squatting down on a dirty, bathroom floor changing his son's diaper.
Fast forward to today. Using the influence and exposure that his viral photo generated, Donte has become a catalyst for change. With the help of Pampers and musician John Legend, Donte has inspired a movement that will result in the installation of 5,000 changing tables to men's restrooms in the US and Canada over the next two years. You may think that 5,000 is a small number but it's a much larger number than we had when we started.
From all over the country, people have tagged Happy with Daddy in order to bring awareness to the unique ways that their communities have responded to this movement by providing spaces for fathers to take care of the basic needs of their babies.
So, while you may think 5,000 isn't enough, it’s a powerful start.
A start that began with Donte Palmer.
The campaign is called Love The Change.
Here is a press release from Pamper’s that explains the initiative:
“Across the next two years, Pampers – in partnership with Koala Kare – will identify high-need public locations and provide baby changing tables for installation in the men’s restrooms. Dads and babies visiting places such as parks and recreation centers, community centers and libraries in cities such as Cincinnati, Dallas, Philadelphia, Detroit, and many others across the U.S and Canada, are in line to benefit from Pampers’ commitment. The first 500 locations have already been identified and installation is expected to be completed over the coming weeks.”
Thank you, Donte, for bringing attention to this important issue.
I salute your efforts to create a better lifestyle for fathers everywhere!