Dignity Matters is a non-profit organization that collects, purchases 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 significant, local, yet hidden issue here in America and Massachussets.

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-aged girls DESPERATELY need our support with period protection and underwear?

  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. Many shelters, food pantries and public schools struggle to afford period protection for their cleints. Bras are considered a luxury.

OUR IMPACT:

In 2017, Dignity Matters collected over 225,000 items for distribution.

In 2018 we over doubled our operation and collected over 570,000 items. Since the beginig of 2019, Dignity Matters supports over 90 other nonprofits reliably reaching over 2,700 women and girls EVERY MONTH. However, as the rate of the homelessness and housing insecurity is growing, so does the demand for our services so we continuously search for more women to join our mission and for more support.

Dignity Matters assists our partners though 5 different programs which serve: food pantries, public schools and after-schools programs, homeless shelters, medical centers for the homeless and directly clients at varied programs drop-in centers. Our clients include very large organizations and agencies in Massachusetts, such as Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program, Boston Public Schools, South Middlesex Opportunity Council and Middlesex Human Services Agency as well as local food pantries and programs for domestic violence victims, victims of sexual trafficking, refugees and women experiencing permanent or temporary homelessness. Dignity Matters also occasionally distributes products at events benefiting homeless women/girls, such as the City Year events and Wellness Fair (organized by SMOC in Framingham). 

Periodically, we also organize personalized “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.

UNIQUE SUPPORT MODEL: 

What sets us apart is that Dignity Matters does not randomly distribute donations to partners or partners’ clients based on what donations we currently may have received, but rather we commit to a pre-agreed support, for pre-agreed number of women/girls at a location, for at least a year and we hold ourselves accountable to deliver what was agreed.

To sustain, and grow in the future the significant number of 2700 women we support monthly, Dignity Matters secured a contract with a manufacturer of famine hygiene products. This allow us to purchase and distribute period protection to local parners for a fraction of a cost of any local retailers. We purchase product in bulk and rapidly grow as an organization serving public needs that were otherwise not met.

We pride ourselves on developing long-term and meaningful relationships with our partners and spend a significant amount of time to understand the unique needs of the clients.All organizations supported by Dignity Matters are local, vetted, 501(c)3 organizations. We prioritize helping organizations with the greatest need, and most local to us.

Dignity Matters is based in Framingham, MA, and oversees operations in Massachusetts. We are currently extending our reachto public schools in need in New Hampshire where school-aged girls receive feminine hygiene protection they need but can not afford.