Q&A: Amanda La Bell, founder of Rebecca Foundation's Cloth Diaper Closet

Amanda La Bell is the founder of the Rebecca Foundation's Cloth Diaper Closet, which is holding a benefit auction at Crush at 121 West Jackson Ave. on Dec. 6 at 6 p.m., and also an online auction on its Facebook page starting Nov. 29 and ending Dec. 6.

Are you a 100 percent cloth diaper mom?

When my youngest was born (she's 15 months old now), we started off using disposables, unaware that there were other options available. Thanks to a mom from a local mommy play group, when my youngest was 6 months old, my eyes were opened to the world of cloth diapering—thank goodness. At this point in time, we currently only use cloth diapers.

Why do you advocate them?

Not only are cloth diapers great for the environment, saving nearly 3,000 diapers from the landfill each year for our family alone, they are economically and financially more feasible and practical. Oh, and they are just so darn cute. You should see some of the ones that I have, just simply adorable!

Do you have mad sewing parties to make diapers, as it appears on your Facebook page?

We had our first sewing party this last week with a local Girl Scout troop volunteering to sew the diapers (or learning to sew at all). We all may have looked a little "mad," but they had such a great time and were so proud of their creations.

Is it a moms-only thing?

We love it when dads and grandparents get involved. My husband is just as much as advocate (now) for cloth diapers as I am. It took him a little longer to get on board.

Why did you start this, and who is Rebecca?

Rebecca is my oldest daughter, who is almost 10 now. She saw the importance of the cloth diapers and asked me one day why everyone with babies didn't do it. I had to explain to her that not everyone could afford the cost of cloth diapers or even disposable diapers, and that some babies' families struggled with this. With a rather confused look she said, "That's just sad, mom we should help them"—and so the foundation was born from the mind of a very brilliant child...

Why an online auction?

We decided to have both an online and live auction because our reach is borderless. The idea of a silent auction is not an original idea but we wanted anyone who was not local to be able to attend the event. We have so many great items that many companies across the USA and Canada donated. One of the most unique is from a company called Cuppow, it's a product that turns any Mason jar into a travel mug or kids cup.

What will be done with any proceeds from the auctions?

All proceeds will either go to finding a permanent home for the foundation, for anyone looking for assistance, education classes, or looking to donate or purchasing diapers for the foundation to loan to families in need. Donations of cloth diapers are very low and the demand is very high.

Do fun or amusing things happen when the foundation members gather?

Ha! There is always some kind of tomfoolery or shenanigans happening. I'm a big joker so it's usually my fault. We really do have a good time and welcome others to come enjoy our silly sense of humor. Bazinga!

Are there poignant stories?

Many, though all are different. A mom who was our very first donor, her son struggles with Spina Bifida—in and out of hospitals, going through so many ups and downs. Through everything, she took the time to donate cloth diapers to us. The mom, Dawn James and her son Eli are forever in our hearts as is everyone who gives to others.

For more information or to see the online auction: Facebook.com/therebeccafoundation or call 865-268-3858