Early in Rev. Ilene's tenure, she worked with the Social Action Task Force (precursor of the re-formed Social Action Team) to identify work that UUTC could do to meet a currently "unmet" need in our community.
In talking with the leaders of local non-profits, she quickly discovered that the marketplace inequities ("luxury" taxes on menstrual hygiene products, for instance) were further exacerbated by these products NOT being eligible for purchase through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This leaves our most economically vulnerable women faced with an even greater hurdle--on items they have no choice but to purchase.
The Dignity Project is based on Unitarian Universalism's First Principle: The inherent worth and dignity of every person. A collection to kick-start the Project was taken in December. Then, based on the assessment of Rev. Ilene and the Task Force, the Social Action Team began deliveries to 5 key agencies, who serve the largest numbers of people in need: Bread of Life, El Centro, The Haven, S.A.F.E and The Sharing House. These agencies would be our partners in delivering a little dignity.
Deliveries of menstrual hygiene products, diapers, dental health products, condoms, baby wipes and soap began in January of 2018. All of these are items which our neighbors desperately need in order to fully feel their inherent worth and dignity. To date, we have purchased and dispersed 200 toothbrushes, 100 bars of soap, 50 bottles of shampoo, 50 razors, 168 tubes of toothpaste, 800 condoms, 65 boxes of tampons, 42 packages of baby wipes--and 6,878 diapers. Without our partners in the community, there is no way we could equitably distribute these items--we are very, very grateful for the work that these agencies do in our community.