Mom Collects Thousands of Diapers for Families in Need in Honor of Late Daughter

A Texas mother grieving the loss of two daughters channeled her grief into giving by collecting and donating nearly 7,000 diapers to a local charity in their honor.

Christy Payne was inspired to give back to her community after the loss of her daughters Ella, 18, and Aranza, 16, in an August 2019 car accident, NBC affiliate KCBD reported.

As Ella's March 1 birthday creeped closer, Payne and her surviving daughter Sarah, 16, decided to celebrate with a donation to Ella's favorite charity, Youth For Christ's Parent Life Program, which helps teen parents in Lubbock, according to Good Morning America.

"After the accident, one of my friends said [my daughters] didn't just create ripples, they created waves in making a difference in other people's lives," Payne told the outlet. "This diaper drive was just an extra way to keep my girls' waves moving forward."

After reaching out in late February to see what kind of help the organization needed, Payne decided on a diaper drive and she and Sarah got to work, collecting thousands of diapers, some of which came from them, and others of which were donated or bought through fundraising.

"To go through a loss like that as a parent, I cannot imagine what that must feel like or what the family must be going through," Renee Morales, the program's director, told KCBD. "But to take their grief into something beautiful and giving back to others and making a difference in others' lives is just an incredibly beautiful way to honor someone's legacy and their memory."

Morales said that many young parents struggle to afford diapers, and many have to choose between buying food or buying diapers. She told GMA that they're also often forced to leave diapers on their babies longer than recommended so that they last longer, which poses health risks.

"Diapers are always a need at Parent Life and definitely more so during the pandemic," she said. "Diaper need is a huge problem in the U.S. that many are not aware of."

On Ella's birthday, the organization thanked the Payne family, and shared a photo showing many of the thousands of donations they'd received.

Also included was a letter from the family signed "the Hope Dealing Wavemakers," in honor of Christy Payne's do-good initiative the Wavemakers.

"Once upon a time two girls from the country, in a town without a stoplight, decided to share joy with everyone they met," the letter read. "They lived their lives to the fullest, befriending the lonely and helping others at every opportunity. Their lives were cut short, at 16 and 18 years, but in those years, they made waves in the lives of others. We continue that mission and hope this blessing brightens your day."

A GoFundMe shared at the time of the accident raised nearly $40,000 for the family. According to KCBD, Sarah was also in the car, and suffered multiple broken bones.

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