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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Donate Diapers

It's now International Heliophysical Year, a time to celebrate the study of interconnections in planetary systems. And 2007 is Year of the Dolphin, as well as the Year of the Surf Lifesaver, at least in Australia.

But if none of these causes call out to you, there's another: In Russia, 2007 has been declared the Year of the Dry Bottom.

Organizers don't mean the bottoms of the general population. The five Russian charities leading the Dry Bottom drive are talking about the behinds of children in children's homes, where there's often a chronic shortage of diapers.

"They always use them to a minimum," said Svetlana Rozanova of the Fund for Children's Homes. "As a rule, it's when the child is sleeping, going for a walk at cold times of the year and during visits to the hospital. During games, lessons and at other times, children are usually without them."

As a result, children release their bladders into their pants, or wear homemade diapers of fabric and gauze. They're trained to use pots as early as possible.

Since the first Dry Bottom appeal in 2005, several thousand packs of diapers have been donated. Organizers want donations from private donors and also hope to encourage lawmakers to introduce a statute mandating a sufficient supply of diapers for children's homes.

Members of the public are invited to contribute packs of diapers at one of the collection points listed on the organization's web site (

The charity was created in 1998 after a visit by founders Maria Yeliseyeva and her husband, Ilya, to a Moscow region orphanage, where children's bottoms were so badly cared for that the skin had peeled off in a few cases. Dry Bottom lobbied the Federal Health and Social Development Ministry to get involved last year, without success.