This past week, First 5 Orange County held diaper giveaways in the predominantly immigrant neighborhoods around the Delhi Community Center in Santa Ana. The group serves the health, education and wellness needs of underserved children, and hopes its continued efforts will encourage families to count children under age 5 for the census.
It’s an age group that often gets left out for as simple a reason as their parents forget to count them or don’t think they are old enough to be counted, said Heather Stratman, the group’s census consultant. The diapers were distributed by community organizations that already work in those neighborhoods, speak the language and have a level of trust with residents, Stratman said.
“The idea is, if we could meet families where they are with these trusted messengers reaching out to them, they are much more inclined to feel that they can fill it (the census form) out,” she said. “With the shorter deadline, it’s pedal to the metal for us. We need to keep this momentum going so we can get the best possible response rate.”