Charitable Union believes in contributing to human dignity. We believe that on a spectrum from life to death, menses care is just as important as diapers at the beginning of life to senior-care diapers at the end of life for contributing to human dignity.* We seek $100,000 from the community in order to support our effort to provide 100% of our menstruating clients (3,432 women) with free-of-charge monthly feminine hygiene product, made available in our Free Store, located at 85 Calhoun St., Battle Creek, MI, during normal operating hours.
For somewhere near 43 years of a woman's life (menarche typically occurs at age 12 while menses ends by age 55), she experiences this uniquely female financial burden -- a burden that hits low-to-moderate income households hardest. The average monthly supply of product costs around $10/person. At minimum wage, this expense takes more than 1 hour's work to pay for it. Compound that with multiple women in a household (mothers and daughters) all menstruating (sometimes at the same time), and paying for sufficient and proper product for multiple needs, multiplies this burden.
Charitable Union recently completed an elective survey with our clients. We orally interviewed some clients and invited others to complete the 7-question paper survey themselves. The survey took less than 3 minutes to complete and invited women to write their own stories about their experiences if they chose. All of the responses were given anonymously. The results of this survey indicate that 63% of Charitable Union's female clients have been negatively impacted by the inability to buy product for themselves or other members of their families when they've needed.
One notable survey response given by a client read: "When I was younger, I had to use tissue paper more often than hygiene product. It was very uncomfortable and extremely embarrassing. I missed a lot of school days because of lack of hygiene products." Another response read: "I used to have to use paper towels." And finally another wrote, "I used to have to scrounge around my dad's house for change to buy product for myself."
Further, the survey's data indicates that 41.82% of our female clients have had to skip school and/or work at least one day a month, while another 25.45% of them reported skipping school/work at least once per quarter. 68% borrowed product from another person. 47.22% used toilet paper to get by. 61.11% had to change clothes and or underwear because of leakages. While 40.28% had to leave, go home, change clothes, and buy product before returning to school/work.
Please contribute to Charitable Union's effort to support our low-to-moderate income women, please donate to our fund today!
* Charitable Union is currently funded to provide diapers [both infant and senior] to our clients.