Back in October 2018, Florida father Donte Palmer shared a photo of himself in a men’s restroom struggling to change his child’s diaper without the aid of a changing table. The photo quickly made a difference as people recognized the need for changing tables in men’s bathrooms.
Now, Palmer, 32 of St. Augustine, is partnering with Pampers — as well as John Legend — to help meet the demand.
“When I first took the picture, it was something I posted in my own frustrations,” Palmer tells People. “I just posted it for my family and friends. I never expected for it to get this big. But it has happened. So [my wife and I] decided to advocate for fathers. This is a huge issue.”
Palmer and his wife, Lakeisha Palmer, founded Squat for Change, a grassroots organization to ensure that all members of a family have access to safe and clean changing tables. Pampers noticed the movement and invited Palmer to work closely with them to put 5,000 changing tables in men’s restrooms across the U.S. and Canada by 2021.
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Most dads have been there: you’re out with your kids & there's no place to change their diaper. In honor of Father’s Day, @PampersUS is providing 5,000 Koala Kare changing tables in public restrooms. Finally, no more diaper duty on your lap! #LoveTheChange #PampersPartner
Palmer, who has three sons – Isaiah, 12, Taylor, 7, and Liam, 2 – said, “The progress is unbelievable. My vision is to take it step by step. It gives access to so many fathers out in the world. Tens of thousands of fathers have access to these tables. So my vision is to provide more support, get other people on board. So this can expand to other fathers who don’t have the resources … to be the perfect dad that I know they can be.”
Pampers announced the initiative on Monday. In a statement by the company, the plan is to start with “high-need public locations” like Philadelphia, Dallas and Detroit. As per the statement, the first 500 locations have already been picked and should be expected to have tables installed “over the coming weeks.”
Dads! How are you bonding with your little one this Father’s Day? Show us using #LoveTheChange to contribute towards the installation of additional @KoalaKare changing tables in public restrooms across the US & Canada. @johnlegend pic.twitter.com/wLJCB64BQn— Pampers (@Pampers) June 13, 2019
In addition to the statement, Pampers released a video with John Legend – who is the company’s celebrity ambassador – and other fathers who share their tips and tricks for changing diapers without proper diaper changing stations.
“Dads have to resort to all these maneuvers because there’s no changing stations in our restrooms,” Legend states in the video while encouraging other parents to share their stories using the hashtag ‘#LoveTheChange.’ “Parents, we hear you … we’re all in this together.”