Amherst Community Connections (ACC) is partnering with several other campus organizations in the Amherst area in hopes to provide survival items that may not be readily available for women who are homeless and are considered extremely low-income. For many women living on the streets or are experiencing extremely low-incomes, menstrual-hygiene products like tampons, pads, panty liners, adult diapers and undergarments like bras, socks, and underwear, are not easily accessible to them mainly because of the lack of funds to purchase them and the lack of donations.
It seems like an obvious need for the average woman, however, women in shelters and on the streets are found without these types of female-specific essentials.The average woman spends $120 a year on menstrual products. Although some of these women may receive food stamps (SNAP benefits), these benefits cannot go towards non-food items like hygiene products. There is also a lack of clean showers and facilities to clean themselves during menstruation which can ultimately lead to infections. The lack of feminine products like tampons and pads for women who are homeless and are with low incomes is a serious issue that doesn't receive the right attention it should. Because of this, many of these women often have to go without these products and are often found with mental, emotional, and physical pain and discomfort.
Although the need for these products may be overlooked and may cause many women who are homeless to feel very shameful, it is in reality a necessity. Without consistent and easy access to sanitary pads or tampons, these women rely on makeshift, possibly unsanitary, methods for maintaining feminine hygiene. This can include, but not limited to old paper bags, toilet paper, cloth, or old newspaper to protect their clothing where one small accident could easily cause added embarrassment to an already difficult situation. Maintaining proper menstrual hygiene is not only important to prevent leaking, but also can result in possible reproductive and gynecological problems such as Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), urinary tract infections, yeast infections, and scabies.
In addition to the lack of menstrual-hygiene products, many women are unable to afford or find new bras and other undergarments as they are more difficult to find at second-hand stores and in donations. Bras and undergarments, sanitary pads, and tampons are reported as the least donated products at many homeless shelters, but are the most desired items.
This is where you come in! As organizations that are advocating for the homeless community and for women, we are collecting monetary donations to purchase tampons, pads, pantyliners, bras, and undergarments for homeless women in the Hampshire county area. Not only to provide their needs, but to empower these women as individuals with DIGNITY! Please consider donating to this fundraiser in our efforts to provide the necessities for the homeless women in the community.
$10 can provide a 1 month supply of feminine hygiene products (includes either tampons or pads, AND pantyliners)
$25 can provide a 1 month supply of feminine hygiene products AND a brand NEW bra
$50 can provide a 3 month supply of feminine hygiene products, a brand NEW bra & a pack of socks
$100 can provide a 6 month supply of feminine hygiene products, a brand NEW bra, a 6-pack of socks, AND a 6-pack of underwear
$150 can provide a 9 month supply of feminine hygiene products, 2 brand NEW bras, a 6 pack of socks, AND a 6-pack of underwear
Join us and be part of an initiative that will better help serve the women of Amherst and those in need!