Dignity Matters is a non-profit organization that collects, purchases and supplies menstrual products, bras and underwear to women and girls who are homeless or disadvantaged, 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, hidden and local issue here in US, and, in Massachusetts.

There are women, girls and transgender men in almost every community in the nation, who cannot afford these necessities, and period protection items are not covered by SNAP benefits.

Clients we assist are commonly single mothers, migrants, low-income or homeless women, refugees, victims of domestic violence and LGBTQ youth. People we support desperately need our help to stand back on their feet.

People we serve, every month face the humiliating reality of no access to period protection. Their dilemma of having to choose between buying food or menstrual care is common. 

Why clients we serve need our support with period protection and underwear?

  1. SNAP benefits do not cover them
  2. Menstrual products are expensive and needed monthly – the cost adds up
  3. Menstrual products are rarely donated to shelters, food pantries or public schools
  4. Many shelters, food pantries, community colleges and public schools cannot afford, or do not provide, period protection for their clients. Bras, and new underwear are considered a luxury.

OUR IMPACT:

In 2023 alone, Dignity Matters distributed over 3,800,000 items to Massachusetts’ individuals in need. We serve over 15,000 women/girls each month providing them with all the menstrual care they need, as well as bras and underwear. Our support helps women manage their period with dignity, feel clean, healthy and comfortable. 

Dignity Matters supports women by providing free menstrual care products, underwear and bras to over 170 Massachusetts nonprofits.  

Dignity Matters partners monthly with:

  1. food pantries
  2. public schools, state universities and colleges, and after-schools programs 
  3. homeless shelters 
  4. domestic violence centers
  5. scattered sites, transitional housing units
  6. walk-in centers for the homeless population
  7. youth organizations focused on LGBTQ community in need

Our community partners include national organizations such as Salvation Army, large regional agencies/organizations, such as Boston Public Schools, South Middlesex Opportunity Council and Middlesex Human Services Agency, as well as local programs which are vital for the wellbeing of our local communities. Occasionally, Dignity Matters also distributes products at local events supporting homeless individuals, such as the City Year events and Wellness Fair (organized by SMOC in Framingham). 

Periodically, Dignity Matters organizes personalized “bra-events'”  in Boston, Cambridge and Metro-West region. During the events women are 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 gives them choice and provides them with a dignified experience.

UNIQUE SUPPORT MODEL: 

Besides the state-wide scale of our program, what sets us apart is our operational model. Dignity Matters does not conduct street outreach or opportunistic distribution to partners.

Instead, we donate product in a pre-agreed, pre-scheduled way, based on the exact needs of our partners’ clients. Our distribution roster is set up a year in advance. We vet our partners, track our impact, and we truly get to know the exact needs of the people we serve.

To keep scaling up our operation, Dignity Matters contracts with multiple manufacturers and suppliers of menstrual products and underwear. This allow us to procure and distribute products for a fraction of the cost at any local retailers. We purchase product in bulk, in large quantities. We also receive commercial quantities of free product from many producers of textiles and menstrual care un US.

We pride ourselves on developing long-term and meaningful relationships with our community partners, and wprioritize helping organizations with the greatest need, and most local to us.

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