Christmas in July

I have been doing volunteer work at the Chapman Historical Museum. Periodically, the volunteer coordinator has gatherings of the volunteers to have lunch or do other things not really related to Chapman.  This gathering was to do a Christmas in July for the needy and, specifically, for women. Did you know there aren’t government subsidies for feminine products? They are not covered by food stamps.  Not to mention just having to pay sales tax on them in a lot of states (although NY is soon to be joining those that don’t, thank you). Don’t even get me started on that…

Anyway, we got together to create purses filled with personal hygiene products, done with donations. We had second-hand purses that were donated from a church (which I can’t remember now), and the volunteers brought in supplies to fill them.

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We had an assortment of personal items: toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, hand sanitizer, lotions, sanitary pads, tissues, etc.

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We then were able to fill 12 of the purses with these items.  They are going to Community Action, which is a local group that helps the disabled, income-eligible, seniors or just people in need and these will be distributed to women who need them.

This is such a great idea to do. We are going to do another one in December. The coordinator is going to check with the domestic violence safehouse liason to see if this is something they would want for the next time.

We also talked about food pantries and I didn’t realize this, but food pantries will give out not just food, but other personal items and two things they are always requesting are sanitary pads and diapers as there is such a need for that. Those are not covered for the local pantries to purchase from the regional food bank (such a complicated system), but they need them.  So the thought is that we are going to do a “pad” drive in the fall and collect these from the volunteers or anyone to distribute to the pantries.

When you are fortunate, you don’t always think about how hard just basic necessities are for some people to get.

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13 thoughts on “Christmas in July

  1. Lisa

    This is great! I love that you’re doing this. Where I work we pass out “hygiene kits” and they are a bag with socks, deodorant, a bar of soap, a cup of noodles, razors, toothpaste, etc. It’s stuff people need. I’ve also seen stuff around facebook where people are passing out bags with that stuff and $5 for food or coffee or something and passing out the bags to people panhandling.
    Lisa´s last blog post ..Book Review: Lift

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  2. Jeannie/Qlts2Slo

    I really like these kinds of local efforts. Sometimes I don’t have a lot of confidence in where contributions are going and whether they are getting where really needed and used. When working through local coordinators you have a much better idea of what and how much is truly helpful.

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  3. Shelley B

    I have a bag that we toss hotel shampoo, soap and lotion into (we get a lot, with Jeff’s travels) and I also put in random samples of other hygiene items, and that goes to our local school district’s “closet” for needy students…didn’t think about feminine products, but I’ll have to remember to pick up some of those items as well. That purse idea is a good one.
    Shelley B´s last blog post ..Vindication

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    1. Lori Post author

      Sending those items to a school is a very good idea. I was reading an article about how many girls miss school because of not having access to feminine products, so that’s definitely a need, too.

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  4. Helen

    What a fantastic idea! I had no idea these items are not covered by food stamps – so, someone could buy a gallon of soda but not sanitary supplies. How dumb is that! And now you’ve got me wondering if I could get a local group here to do something similar.
    Helen´s last blog post ..Tuesday Ten

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