“Mentioning the need for feminine products is an instant conversation starter… women know the high monthly cost and feel immediately connected to the cause and want to help.

Haley, Volunteer

Human dignity should not be considered a luxury, yet more than 20% of girls and women in the U.S. suffer from period poverty, lacking the financial resources to purchase basic feminine hygiene necessities.

In urban areas, the number is even higher.

Imagine having to choose between buying food for your family or buying pads/tampons for your period. Imagine you have just used your last pad or tampon, and have no money to purchase more.

This is a reality for many. Every month, some of our neighbors feel a sense of helplessness and embarrassment because they lack basic necessities. These feelings of shame have consequences. Girls stay home from school during their periods and miss critical learning time. Women miss work, which can lead to lost wages. This further compounds the cycle of poverty.

Feminine hygiene necessities are not covered by SNAP, WIC or other welfare programs, and are rarely available at food pantries. As a result, countless people are left without products that many of us take for granted. The majority of states still tax these products. Women know that no one should feel ashamed of her body and the natural rhythm of being female.

Having basic female necessities is life-changing, increasing one’s sense of self-worth and respect. Girls and women gain confidence and thrive when they can engage in daily activities without worrying about their periods.

As women, we know when we support our sisters, we lift each other up and amazing things happen. Dignity Grows™ is an initiative of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford and supported by National Women’s Philanthropy of Jewish Federations of North America. In collaboration with Distribution Partners, Dignity Grows™ removes obstacles to better self-esteem and improved health through the security and comfort of having hygiene essentials every month.

There is a tremendous need for Dignity Totes in communities across the country, especially when so many have lost jobs in this challenging economic climate. Embodying the Jewish values of Tzedakah (righteousness) and Tikkun Olam (repairing the world), we are committed to helping Jewish Federations and other agencies across the country create local Dignity Grows™ chapters. Employing the Dignity Grows™ model, local chapters will impact the communities they serve.

“Thank you so much for the Dignity Tote. I feel better about myself having the items I need, but can’t afford, and feel good about carrying them around in the Bag.”

– Community college student

“My anxiety levels greatly increase when I need to secure feminine products. The fact that there is a group that cares enough to help me through these times, has impacted me in a way they probably didn’t recognize until now. Dignity Grows positively helps me each month. Thank you.”

– Transgender male student

Dignity Grows™ provides girls, women, and individuals assigned female at birth, with the human dignity that comes from having their most basic feminine hygiene needs met, one month at a time.