Dignity Matters is a non-profit organization that collects and supplies feminine hygiene products, bras 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. 

People commonly associate period poverty with developing countries, but it is a HUGE, OVERLOOKED AND HIDDEN issue in USA.

There are women in almost every community in the nation, who cannot afford these necessities, and unlike many other items, period protection items are not covered by Food Stamps.

Clients we assist are commonly single mothers, low-income or homeless women or women and teens who escaped domestic violence and cannot safely return home. Well over 40% of homeless women we encountered in shelters are employed. These women desperately need help to stand back on their feet.

Homeless women and school girls, both sheltered and unsheltered, every month face the humiliating reality of no access to tampons or pads. Their dilemma of having to choose between buying food to survive or pads is too common. 

Why homeless women and school girls DESPERATELY need tampons, pads, bras and panties:

  1. Food stamps do not cover them
  2. They are expensive and needed monthly
  3. Rarely donated to shelters, food pantries or public schools
  4. Shelters and public schools in impoverished areas struggle to afford pads/tampons for distribution. Bras are considered a luxury.

In 2017, Dignity Matters collected over 225,000 items for distribution. In 2018 we over doubled our operation and collected over 570,000 items.

Currently, Dignity Matters supports over 90 other nonprofits reliably reaching over 2,500 women and girls every month and supporting them

with all their period protection needs, as well as supply for new underwear and bras for a year.

Sample of our partners which we assist:

  • Waltham and Boston medical clinics for homeless families managed by Boston Healthcare for Homeless Program
  • Woman’s Lunch Place, Boston (drop-in-center for homeless women)
  • Shadows and Meadows, Ashland  (shelters)
  • Family Promise, Natick (program for homeless families)
  • Sage House, Framingham (shelter)
  • Family Promise, Natick (program for homeless families)
  • Drop in Center for Homeless, Framingham (drop-in-center for homeless)
  • On the Rise, Cambridge (drop-in-center for homeless women)
  • Women Connecting Affecting Change, Dorchester (drop-in-center for homeless women)
  • RIA House, Framingham (program for sexually trafficked girls)
  • Serenity, Hopkinton, (shelter)
  • All 11 of the Boys and Girls Clubs in Boston (after-school programs for kids & teens)
  • William Monroe Trotter School, Dorchester
  • James W Hennigan School, Jamaica Plain
  • Orchard Gardens School, Roxbury
  • Parthum Middle School, Lawrence (located in Lawrence MA – the state’s poorest city)
  • Lowell High School, Lowell (one of the country’s largest high schools by enrollment)
  • Jeremiah Burke High School, Dorchester, MA 
  • John W. McCormack Middle School, Dorchester, MA 
  • Martin Luther King Jr. School, Dorchester, MA
  • Dearborn STEM Academy, Dorchester, MA
  • Greater Lowell Technical High Schoo,Tyngsboro, MA
  • Newton Food Pantry
  • A Place to Turn (food pantry in Natick serving 12 towns) 

Dignity Matters also distributes products at events benefiting homeless women/girls, such as the City Year events and Wellness Fair (organized by SMOC in Framingham). 

We pride ourselves on developing long-term and meaningful relationships with the shelters we serve. We spend a significant amount of time at each shelter we partner with to truly understand the unique needs of the population they serve, in order to prioritize helping those with the greatest need, and ensuring that no products is wasted.

Unlike some other nonprofits we don’t randomly distribute bras/underwear at shelters, but rather organize “bra-events'” at homeless shelters. During the events women are professionally fitted with bras and/or can choose and try bras they feel are the best fit for them. This way of working directly with women truly provides them with a dignified experience which they love.

Dignity Matters is based in Framingham, MA, and oversees operations in Massachusetts.