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