Everything That Goes Into Creating a Dignity Grows Hygiene Tote

February 1, 2024

Along with large-scale national research, data-driven social policy change advocacy, and groundbreaking national assemblies, is what started it all at Dignity Grows: tote distribution.

Dignity Grows Totes are filled with a 1-month supply of hygiene products and period necessities. The bags are packed in discreet, reusable totes and contain:

  • Sanitary Pads and Panty Liners
  • Shampoo
  • Soap
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Hand wipes

Chapters of Dignity Grows volunteers across the country come together for “Packing Parties,” during which hundreds of these totes are assembled for distribution to neighbors in need.

Images show the supplies included in a Dignity Grows hygiene tote and a group of group of volunteers holding the completed bags.

Where Do the Products Come From?

Dignity Grows bolsters the hygiene resources in the communities we serve. Many similar-minded organizations hold product drives, which can have the unfortunate result of redistributing Period Poverty across a community, rather than alleviating it.

Well-intentioned donors generally purchase the lowest-priced hygiene merchandise from local stores to donate, which can create an affordable-product hygiene desert in the area.

Almost 50% of those impacted by Period Poverty live above the poverty level and beyond the scope of any assistance or supplemental programs (including the social services offered by Dignity Grows Distribution Partners); over 54% of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck.

By depleting lower-priced hygiene resources, a “successful” product drive can leave these community members without products they can afford. Dignity Grows considers the hygienic “health” of the whole community.

All products in Dignity Grows Totes are sourced from a strategic purchasing partner who can access hygiene items that are not intended for retail sale (“non-peggable”) and manufactured specifically for nonprofits like Dignity Grows.

At the root of this distribution are product partnerships with companies with a desire to make a difference.

What Happens at a “Packing Party”?

After a group has planned and coordinated a Packing Party, the following will take place:

  1. The local Dignity Grows chapter will coordinate ordering and pick up or delivery of all supplies. Volunteers may need to assist with transportation or storage.
  2. Volunteers will help set up, pack the totes using a curated assembly line model, and then clean up. The setup will include several long tables as well as recycling bins.
  3. During the packing portion, volunteers will place one of each of the essential hygiene products into each tote and zip the bags closed.
  4. Then, the Dignity Grows team will ensure the totes reach neighbors in need through established Distribution Partners.

Dignity Grows Packing Parties are easy and fun! The larger the group, the faster bags can be packed. Packing Parties are capable of producing 100-3,000 Dignity Grows Totes assembled.

A graphic outlines the various types of Dignity Grows Distribution Partners: libraries, food banks, clinics, shelters, schools, and soup kitchens

Who Distributes the Totes to Neighbors in Need?

Dignity Grows Distribution Partners are responsible for tote distribution. (Note: Dignity Grows volunteers do not hand out the bags directly.)

Dignity Grows Tote Distribution Partners include:

  • Food banks
  • K-12 schools
  • Homeless shelters
  • Domestic violence shelters
  • Soup kitchens
  • Libraries
  • Clinics and medical centers
  • Colleges and universities
  • LGBTQ+ services
  • Rehabilitation services
  • And more!

These collaborative efforts allow us to reach a broad spectrum of individuals facing various challenges and hardships.

Dignity Grows’ Multi-Tiered Approach

Our distribution network extends beyond traditional channels, fostering partnerships with local community centers, faith-based organizations, and youth programs. By engaging with these groups, Dignity Grows aims to create a comprehensive and inclusive support system that addresses the unique needs of different communities.

Our nationwide effort ensures that our totes reach individuals from diverse backgrounds, respecting and valuing the unique circumstances of each community.

Volunteers at the Dignity Grows Summit on Period Poverty in 2023 move down an assembly line filling Tote bags with supplies
Along with tote distribution, Dignity Grows is committed to creating dignity for women across the country with comprehensive strategies.

In 2023, Dignity Grows published the National Research Initiative on Period Poverty, a large-scale study in partnership with top academic institutions that revealed appealing statistics about the prevalence of Period Poverty and its impact on the well-being of women and girls.

Additionally, Dignity Grows led the Summit to End Period Poverty in Austin, Texas, during which powerhouse philanthropic, industry and government leaders, and advocates convened to discuss actionable change.

And we’re not stopping there. In the coming years, Dignity Grows will lead the charge in creating comprehensive systemic change that brings dignity to all neighbors in need.

How to Get Involved With Dignity Grows

As we continue to expand our reach and impact, Dignity Grows remains dedicated to forming new collaborations and partnerships that align with our mission of promoting dignity, hygiene, and well-being for all.

Through the collective efforts of our Distribution Partners and the support of local chapters, we strive to make a meaningful and positive difference in the lives of our neighbors in need.

Find a Dignity Grows chapter near your community, or learn how to start your own today.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can you volunteer to help neighbors in need?

You can volunteer to help neighbors in need by joining a chapter in your community, attending a Dignity Grows Tote Packing Party, or making a donation. You can also recommend or apply to be a Distribution Partner.

What are essential hygiene product needs for women and girls?

Essential hygiene products that contribute to women’s and girls’ dignity include sanitary pads, shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, and hand wipes. Each of these products contribute to the physical and mental well-being of female neighbors in need.

How can I help build Dignity Grows totes for my community?

To get involved with a Packing Party, find a chapter near you or consider starting a new chapter in your community. Don’t want to join an in-person volunteer event? Consider donating today to still have an impact.