We are fortunate to have a strong, supportive community base here in Somerville, but Brooklyn Boulders is always looking for more ways to give back to our greater community. This month we’ve partnered with Dignity Matters, a non-profit organization that collects and supplies feminine hygiene products and underwear to women and girls who are homeless or otherwise in need, in order to help them stay healthy, regain self-confidence, and live with basic dignity.
We met with Brigid Beller-Ducey, one of their volunteers, to ask her why she chose to support this organization.
Why did you become involved with Dignity Matters?
Brigid: After cleaning out my bathroom cabinets recently I found myself with a few open boxes of hygiene products that I no longer had any use for. It occurred to me that in the past when my daughter had outgrown diaper sizes, we had been able to donate them despite the packages being open. I came across Dignity Matters and was immediately drawn to their cause and passion. Finding a place to donate my hygiene products and help women in need at the same time made me reach out and ask how else I could be of service to this organization.
What are some of the ways Dignity Matters helps support women?
Brigid: The work that Dignity Matters does seems vital to me because they endeavor to fill such a vast gap in access to things that are so necessary for women and girls to maintain basic dignity, physical and emotional health. I learned from this organization that homeless shelters often can’t keep up with the demand for hygiene products and that SNAP/EBT benefits don’t cover them. Access to tampons and pads can help maintain self-esteem and confidence for school-aged girls, as well as boosting their school attendance. With access to new undergarments and well-fit bras, unemployed women are more likely to obtain work, and underprivileged employed women more likely to retain it. Dignity Matters works closely with schools and shelters alike to reach a broad spectrum of women and girls in the New England area and to help them see these benefits.
Are there other ways that people can get involved with this cause?
Brigid: I absolutely encourage folks to reach out to Dignity Matters, volunteer their time to help raise funds and goods to support their mission. Organize a goods drive, host a collection party, or volunteer your time to their organization by contacting them via their website at DignityMatters.org. Ask your employer if they might consider becoming a corporate sponsor. This organization is growing fast and can use any support you are willing to give to their worthy and fulfilling cause. Also give them a follow on social media! Facebook and Instagram
We will have a donation box in our Somerville location for the month of March collecting the following:
- Bras and bralettes (teen’s bras) – new and very gently used/like new. ALL sizes and styles are needed (including custom made sizes, sports bras, shape-wear, nursing bras, etc). To affirm the dignity of the women we serve, we can only accept VERY GENTLY used bras which have no pilling, discoloration or holes. Please launder your bras before donating.
- Female underpants – new with tags only. Any brand, type, size (from size 5T for small homeless school girls up).
- Hygiene products – any type, size, and brand of tampons, pads, panty liners and menstrual cups; the higher absorbency, the better. Overnight pads, maxi pads, and maternity pads are the most practical and sought after by homeless women. If you have an open box that you would like to donate, we are happy to accept it as long as the pads or the tampons are individually wrapped.