2,000 hygiene products donated to help women and adolescents in New Bedford

NEW BEDFORD – Instead of picking up canned goods this holiday season, the Southcoast Women’s Fund tampons and menstrual pads collected.

A total of 2,381 personal care products were collected through a hygiene campaign, including soap, shampoo, toothbrushes and toothpaste, deodorants and feminine hygiene products.

“Programs like BREAK do not cover basic hygiene products such as soap and deodorant “, Executive Director Joanne Murray said in a statement. “Research shows that more than half of all low-income families are forced to cut back on food and other essentials in order to afford them.”

The supplies were donated by the Boston-based nonprofit Hope & Comfort. Volunteers and staff from the Women’s Fund sorted the produce before loading the cars and delivering them to the New Bedford Parenting Teens program and the Grace House homeless women’s shelter.

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Women’s Fund Deputy Director of Operations Makenzie Pennington sorts some of the hygiene products they collected during a campaign to donate to Grace House and Parenting Teens in New Bedford.

A complete list of supplies donated by Hope & Comfort:

  • Soap Bars – 144

  • Shampoo, sulfate free – 24

  • General shampoo – 30

  • Toothpaste – 60

  • Toothbrushes – 60

  • Unisex deodorant, men, women – 60

  • Stamps – 1003

  • Stamps – 1,000

Volunteer Carol Kerrisey said the items were identified during a needs assessment last winter by calling the agencies. The two programs receiving grants were the most prominent in research.

This hygiene campaign was the first in a long series to come under the Women’s Fund’s Essentials program. The original idea was to work with local donors and stakeholders, but the association was able to work with the Boston-based distribution center and provide the products needed to support women and girls in the New Bedford area.

Volunteer Carol Kerrissey shares items the Women's Fund collected during their hygiene campaign in New Bedford.  These bags will be delivered to Grace House and Parenting Teens organizations in New Bedford.

Volunteer Carol Kerrissey shares items the Women’s Fund collected during their hygiene campaign in New Bedford. These bags will be delivered to Grace House and Parenting Teens organizations in New Bedford.

“We wanted to start small and be a go-between,” said Colleen Millett, board member and volunteer coordinator.

“It’s amazing that families living in poverty need the essentials,” said Carole Ferguson, retired volunteer and nurse practitioner.

The Women’s Fund intends for this program to “be the umbrella catalyst with agencies with direct services to find people to help,” Ferguson said.

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By meeting the needs of adolescent girls, it helps them stay longer in school to learn better. Murray said that in many third world countries and less favored areas, girls can miss up to a week of school per month due to a lack of feminine hygiene products, putting them at a disadvantage in their education. .

“We need to educate the community about (…) the unmet women’s health needs,” Murray said. “It’s a system, not a period. That’s what a period does.”

The Women’s Fund’s mission states that it supports and sponsors social change that advances the economic security and financial independence of women and girls in our region. It builds community partnerships and makes its voice heard, advocacy and grant-making to increase equity and opportunity between race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, gender identity, country of origin. ‘origin and physical capacity.

Standard-Times editor-in-chief Kerri Tallman can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @kerri_tallman for links to recent articles.

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This article originally appeared on Standard-Times: Over 2,000 hygiene products offered to women and girls in New Bedford

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