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‘Family Friendly Restroom Team’ installs six diaper changing stations at Sisters-area businesses, with goal of 20

(Update: adding video and comment from co-founder and business owners)

SISTERS, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The nonprofit Age-Friendly Sisters Country (AFSC) is on a mission to help Sisters-area businesses become more family-friendly in various ways -- and one is by offering free sourcing and installation of diaper changing stations and related amenities.

The Family-Friendly Restroom Team (FFRT) has a goal to dramatically increase the number of family-friendly restrooms in Sisters Country — complete with diaper changing stations and other amenities that make like easier and more sanitary for kids, parents and caregivers. 

Kellen and Jane Klein of Sisters are the parents of young children and have been forced to change their babies diapers in unsanitary places such as gas station floors, snow fields and even dump trucks.

Kellen Klein said, "I ended up having to change my son's poopy diaper on the floor of two different businesses around town. I can either complain or we can do something about this, and so my wife and I decided to try to do the latter."

That's why they came up with the project to donate children's changing tables to local businesses, so that no parent is forced to change their child in unhygienic circumstances.

What qualifies as a family-friendly bathroom space is ample space for kids and caregivers, a diaper changing station, hand-washing stool for kids, sanitation supplies and a regular cleaning.

Part of the reason so many businesses don't have a changing station is lack of affordability and not being a high priority for business owners.

Fika Sisters Coffeehouse owner Renee Reitmeir said, "To make this happen does take a lot of time and money, so how can I not say yes?"

They've already installed six changing stations in Sisters businesses by raising $1,500 for the initiative. Each station costs roughly $250, so the total goal for the project is $5,000 to install 20 changing tables. The City of Redmond have also donated $700 to the cause.

Re:vive Construction of Sisters partnered with the Family Friendly Bathroom Team and pledged to build each changing table for free, thus cutting the costs even more.

Designer and Project Manager Stephanie Thorson said, "Sisters is a really tight-knit community. There is really just so much love and focus that goes into all parts of the community. We just want to be a part of that. We're just thrilled to pitch in!"

The other businesses involved so far include Luckey's Woodsman, Suttle Tea, High Camp, Fike Sisters Coffeehouse, and the latest one, installed Tuesday morning at Martolli's Pizza.

Martolli's Associate Manger Alexandra Manolkas said, "A lot of families come in and out of here, so it definitely will help a lot of families be able to change the kids inside, instead of having to go over to the public restroom."

Not only are they installing changing stations, the FFRT is created a map all the businesses in Sisters that have a changing station -- not just the ones they install. This way, any parent can easily spot a place to tend to their child. They also have passed out stickers to the businesses that have installed changing stations.

Luckey Woodsman owner Jackson "Rooster" Higdon said, "He (Klein) is also creating a program so that the community and all the parents out there can know where these are."

Klein intends to lobby Oregon representatives in order to make family-friendly bathrooms a mandated requirement for public businesses. Efforts to mandate this as a law are already underway in the Washington Legislature.

If you're interested in donating, you can donate online at You can also visit the organization's Link Tree that will give access to all sorts of resources, including links to add an in-need business to the list, or for a business owner can sign a "letter of intent," to let the program know of their interest.

Article Topic Follows: Sisters

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Matthew Draxton

Matthew Draxton is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Matthew here.


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