BY MARIA D. JAMES — For Anthony Drew of Beltsville and his son, 4-month-old Jeremiah, Dec. 10 was just a typical day for holiday shopping. Since he was already in the area, Drew decided to stop into Macy’s at the Mall at Prince Georges. However, his shopping trip came to a halt when he walked into the men’s room and realized there was no place to change his son’s diaper. Drew’s next steps crowned him as Macy’s “Hero of the Day.”

“I had no place to change Jeremiah’s diaper, so we left the store,” said Drew.

 Macy's Regional Vice President Alex Barron shakes hands with father Anthony Drew. Photo courtesy Anthony Drew.
Macy’s Regional Vice President Alex Barron shakes hands with father Anthony Drew. Photo courtesy Anthony Drew.

That same day he wrote a letter to Terry J. Lundgren, the chairman and chief executive officer of Macy’s, and expressed his concerns about the lack of adequate facilities for men to change diapers. Drew said that Lundgren forwarded his concerns within 24 hours to Regional Vice President Alex Barron who then called Drew directly.

“Macy’s heard my concerns and acted on them immediately,” Drew said.

Barron said the need for a baby station inside the men’s room was something no one had addressed before. Within a week, an employee bathroom no longer in use was renovated into a brand new customer restroom complete with a baby changing station, new tile and a new toilet.

“I was impressed with how quickly facilities maintenance came out and made a suggestion for how we could make this happen,” said Barron. “I think everyone felt like it was the right thing to do.”

The new restroom, located on the third floor at Macy’s — currently labeled as a men’s room — will soon be a unisex family restroom. As a thank you for helping to bring on this kind of change, Barron and Macy’s awarded Drew with a gift card and Christmas items for Jeremiah.

“Mr. Drew’s genuine concern was refreshing,” said Barron. “It is nice to hear customers offer suggestions to help our customers shop in our stores.”

Drew sees these changes as a win for privacy and safety — both aspects he considers important to parents when raising a young child.

“Now infants and toddlers have the privacy and safety they need, and customers can enjoy the convenience of a family restroom,” said Drew. “Macy’s responded and resolved my concerns in a very professional and expedited manner.”