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UCC Donates 1,000 Menstrual Hygiene Kits

The Congregational Church of Needham UCC held a “Period Party” and donated 1,000 menstrual hygiene kits to Circle of Hope, a Needham-based nonprofit serving people experiencing homelessness. After running a church-wide collection drive for pads, tampons, wipes, and liners, 30 parishioners joined together on Sunday, March 19 to assemble the kits for those in need.

According to Circle of Hope Executive Director Barbara Waterhouse, the need for menstrual hygiene support in Greater Boston is vast. 

“Virtually all of Circle of Hope’s 25 partner shelters, clinics, and schools ask us for these essential women’s hygiene products,” said Waterhouse. “So many women experiencing homelessness can’t meet their most basic dignity and hygiene needs every month, facing the choice between buying food or tampons.”

Sunday’s Period Party was the second such event at the Congregational Church of Needham. Senior Minister Rev. John MacIver Gage and Michelle Hoffmeister helped organize the party because they believe everyone deserves access to the products they need to stay clean and comfortable during their monthly period. They expressed their gratitude to the Rotary Club of Needham and the Sons of the American Legion, Post 440 for contributing to the church’s collection drive.

"This Period Party does so many good things all at once,” said Rev. MacIver Gage. “First and foremost, it gives direct aid to people in need. But also, when we say words like 'tampon' and 'maxi pad' in church, it reminds us they are part of the lived experience of nearly half the people on the planet. It reminds us every body is sacred." 

Circle of Hope will distribute the kits to people experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity in Boston and MetroWest through its partnerships with 25 homeless shelters, healthcare centers, universities, and neighborhood programs. The nonprofit, located in Needham Center, provides clothing, toiletries, PPE, and other necessities to more than 20,000 people every year. According to Waterhouse, donations from community members and groups help fuel Circle of Hope’s mission to protect health and dignity for people experiencing homelessness. 

“I can’t thank the Congregational Church of Needham enough for this incredible donation,” said Waterhouse. “A thousand people will have access to the products they need for menstrual health because of their generous gift.”

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