KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A donation drive is aiming to help women in Kansas City, Missouri, who have escaped domestic violence.
Tuesday marks the beginning of Giving Hope and Help's 12 Days of Giving, which is aimed at collecting donations of feminine hygiene products. There will be a contact-free donation drive-thru on Dec. 12.
“What we’re doing is not only impacting lives but saving lives,” said Jessica McClellan, founder and president of Giving Hope and Help.
Every year the nonprofit collects “items of dignity,” including tampons, pads and underwear.
This year, McClellan said, the annual drive comes at an important time.
“One of the things about COVID-19 is that it stopped a lot, but it did not stop the period. It did not stop domestic violence,” she said.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Hope House’s CEO MaryAnne Metheny said, the shelter has seen an increase in demand for services.
“We have seen an increase in the severity of the abuse of the people we are serving,” Metheny said. “That’s what’s been most alarming to us is the degree of injuries and the types of abuse that they have experienced.”
In addition to an increase in demand for services, Hope House has had to put more women and their families in hotel rooms in order to social distance in the shelter. Receiving period product donations from Giving Hope and Health allows the shelter to focus on providing other services.
“Everything that she needs should be made available to her so that she will not go back to her abuser,” McClellan said. “Often times women, they escape from their abusive situation with the clothes on their back and their children by their side. So we not only provide period products but also underwear.”
Each year the nonprofit receives enough donations to provide every shelter in the area with a year-supply of feminine hygiene products, according to McClellan.
This year’s event will be a contact-free drive-thru on Dec. 12 at the entrance of Swope Park. Those who want to donate can do so by visiting the nonprofit’s Facebook page.
If you are in a domestic violence situation, call 1-800-799-SAFE.