Northborough woman helps others live with dignity

By Lori Berkey, Contributing Writer

Northborough – When Northborough resident Rebecca Putnam was approached by Kate Butler, founder of Dignity Matters, to join the board of the new nonprofit organization that collects feminine hygiene products and undergarments for women and teenage girls in need, she immediately stepped up and became treasurer, as well a volunteer at collection drives.

Launched last year, Dignity Matters collects and distributes these necessities in order to help females without means to remain healthy, rebuild self-confidence, and live with basic dignity.

When Butler came to Putnam to explain the organization’s mission and solicit her involvement, Putnam found Butler’s passion and enthusiasm to be infectious.

“I honestly had never even realized that feminine hygiene products and undergarments were not provided for women and teens in need up until that moment,” Putnam said.

Eager to assist, Putnam quickly became engaged in many of aspects of the organization’s mission. She has helped out with drives to collect products, fundraisers and giving days in shelters – where women are able to try on an assortment of bras and choose ones that fit well and that they feel good in.

“I think this cause hits home for every woman,” Putnam said. “We instantly think, ‘what if I didn’t have access to these products? How would I feel?’ and it draws our connection deeper.”

According to Putnam, Dignity Matters has already received an outpouring of support from the local community, with donations both in product and funds arriving daily. New chapters are forming around New England and the country, she added, which makes the organization’s mission and vision even stronger. They are currently working with partners to increase their outreach to serve more teenage girls.

Putnam has been touched by the reactions of those who have been helped.

“We have received many donations online from women who were homeless, that are now in a better space and are giving back to their sisters, as they report to us,” Putnam said.

Watching people feeling good about the support has given Putnam joy. She loves being a part of shelter visits, arranging for women to have access to dressing rooms – as though they are in a department store – and to see women’s faces as they are given a variety of styles to pick from.

“When doing a giving day, one of the women receiving bras simply hugged me and said, ‘God Bless.’”

Those served by Dignity Matters are typically single mothers, low-income or homeless women or women and teens who fled from domestic violence. More than 40 percent of the homeless women Dignity Matters reached out to in shelters were employed but still unable to afford housing. Each month they must choose between buying food or feminine hygiene products. While their food bill can often be eased some with food stamps, that form of assistance does not cover tampons or pads or underwear.

According to information posted by Dignity Matters, in 2017 the organization assisted thousands of women through outreach to such programs Boys and Girls clubs, drop-in centers for homeless women, and schools.

The organization invites anyone who is in a position to help to join their movement by developing a new chapter, organizing a drive to collect needed items, donating money or gently used bras.

For further details about the organization, to volunteer or to request assistance, visit www.dignity-matters.org.

Short URL: http://www.communityadvocate.com/?p=94247

Posted by on Oct 5 2017. Filed under Neighbors helping neighbors, Neighbors in the news, Northborough. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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