Living with Dignity
There are people across our region who lack access to some of the most basic goods and services — everything from clothing to toiletries to shelter. These are things that many of us take for granted; we often see them as mundane, perennially available, and easily accessible. We forget about the impact of clean clothes, warm blankets, good shoes, or diapers. Meeting basic needs is both good in itself – often crucial for preventing physical and mental health issues – and can be a foundation for a happier and more productive society.
This year, TCGers will be supporting I Support the Girls, the Greater DC Diaper Bank, and other organizations that provide essential goods to underserved communities throughout the D.C. metro area. We will provide both monetary and volunteer support to a number of organizations that provide basic goods and services.
According to the National Diaper Bank Network, 1 in 3 U.S. families lack a sufficient supply of diapers to keep their infant or child clean, dry, and healthy. This lack has been exacerbated by the pandemic and subsequent supply chain problems. Without diapers, infants are exposed to more health risks, making it difficult for parents to find daycare. Diaper need has also been linked to mental health issues for parents.
Diapers are only one area where access to essential goods is a challenge. According to the nonprofit I Support the Girls, bras, underwear, and menstrual hygiene products are often inaccessible for the 216,000 girls and women experiencing homelessness, making these items a luxury, rather than a basic good. In December of 2021, the DC City Council passed the “Expanding Student Access to Period Products Act of 2021,” which requires schools in the district to supply menstrual hygiene products. Nearly 1 in 5 American girls have missed school because of a lack of access to period products. While there is little research on the impact of period poverty on students specifically in Washington, DC, experts have found that period poverty is closely aligned with food insecurity, which would indicate that roughly 10.6% percent of DC residents experience period poverty. These items are integral to creating and maintaining quality of life for women and girls.
At our annual all-hands meeting in June, each TCGer chose one of the following organizations to support with a donation from the company:
Greater DC Diaper Bank (DC/MD/VA)
Greater DC Diaper Bank provides diapers to social service organizations that are already helping families in need through comprehensive programs and services. There are 100+ organizations in the Diaper Distribution Network. Collectively, they deliver an average of 800,000 diapers to over 5,000 families each month in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Since its inception, they have distributed over 23 million diapers!
Mobile Hope (Northern Virginia)
Mobile Hope provides support to youth up to age 24 who are at-risk, precariously housed, or homeless and empowers them to become self-sufficient. Based in Northern Virginia, Mobile Hope provides a non-judgmental and non-discriminatory environment where youth develop a sense of purpose and community. They believe in helping youth become leaders by providing volunteer opportunities in their bus outreach program, Listen for the Honk, organic peer-to-peer experience, and their on-site thrift shop and retail training center, Threads of Hope.
I Support The Girls (DC/MD/VA/NJ)
I Support the Girls collects and distributes essential items, including bras, underwear, and menstrual hygiene products, allowing women and folx experiencing homelessness, impoverishment, or distress to stand tall with dignity. Based in Wheaton, ISTG’s various programs work with a wide range of populations: Evacuees of natural disasters, breast cancer survivors, inmates in correctional facilities, transgender teens and adults, veterans, Native Americans, and many more.
Seabury Resources for Aging (DC/MD/VA)
Seabury Resources for Aging’s mission is to provide personalized, affordable services and housing options to help older adults in the greater Washington, DC area live with independence and dignity. Seabury offers programs and services which wrap around our area’s most fragile older adults. For example, Seabury’s Age-In-Place program supports older adults in Washington, D.C.‘s Wards 4, 5, and 6 through transformative volunteer service projects that help people stay in their own homes. In 2024, Seabury Resources for Aging will celebrate 100 years of service in D.C.
Be More Caring (Baltimore City & Anne Arundel)
BeMoreCaring is a local non-profit organization committed to raising awareness and empowering the community to join in efforts to provide relief and immediate assistance to temporarily misplaced adults and underprivileged children. This population includes women and children who are victims of domestic violence, our nation’s veterans, and those suffering from mental illness. On a weekly basis, BMC volunteers go into Baltimore City and Anne Arundel County and serve approximately 660 people with hot meals, blankets, clothing, shoes, coats, gloves, tents, toiletries, and other essential items.
Throughout the year, TCG will be supporting these and other organizations in our area to do our part in expanding access to essential goods and services. To stay updated on what we’re doing in the community, follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our blog.