When packing up one’s home and fleeing for the basic safety of life, it can be easy to forget the little things that actually make a big difference. The car may be packed with water bottles, banking information, a pair of sneakers, and the family pet, but what about things like shampoo or soap? For women especially, access to items such as menstrual products is often a critical issue during natural disasters. It’s the last thing on someone’s mind who is escaping danger.
For these reasons and many more, it’s vital that relief efforts include the consideration of women and mothers. Many organizations are working to provide adequate supplies to those in need, and there are ways for everyday citizens to help. As founder and director of I Support the Girls, Dana Marlowe, has said, “Periods don’t stop for hurricanes.”
1. Distributing Dignity
Distributing Dignity is a nonprofit that distributes bras, pads, and tampons to those in need. They’ve launched a specific fundraising campaign for those affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma, with additional items going to support women who are homeless or survivors of domestic abuse.
2. I Support the Girls
I Support the Girls asks supporters to donate $22, the cost of sending a package of bras, tampons, and pads to Florida and Texas for relief efforts.
3. Simply the Basics
Simply the Basics is a San Francisco-based nonprofit that collects and assembles “hygiene kits” to be distributed to those affected by poverty, and now has a program specifically designed to assist victims of the recent hurricanes. Soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, razors, and feminine hygiene products are some of the items they look to collect, in addition to monetary donations.
4. The Texas Diaper Bank & Miami Diaper Bank
Mothers who have evacuated with young children are in desperate need of additional diapers as they wait out the storms and flooding away from home. The Texas Diaper Bank is collecting diapers, wipes, formula, and gently used blankets and toys, as well as financial donations. The Miami Diaper Bank is collecting similar donations, with 100% of monetary contributions going toward South Florida families in crisis.