I sat on the bleachers in the packed Kentucky middle school auditorium; our block class was cancelled as a result of the guest speaker.
“Did you know that smelly kid you sat next to? The one that you wrinkled your nose and turned away from? It’s not that they don’t want to shower and be clean,” her voice rang out. “It’s that sometimes they are unable to. Government assistance, or food stamps, programs don’t cover hygiene products.”
I don’t remember too much from middle school (and that’s probably a good thing). But this moment in that packed auditorium stuck with me my entire life.
Walking into Giving the Basics, words like “dignity” and “clean” surround the walls - scribbled on thank you notes and crayon pictures, people of varying ages experiencing what is it like to have the power to be clean.
230,000 people have access to basic personal care products because of Giving the Basics. That’s just within their footprint, within the Kansas City metro and surrounds. Chances are - you know someone that receives products from them.
More than 76 organizations and 261 schools served annually. “You would be surprised,” the warehouse manager told us, “on the schools we deliver too. Schools you wouldn’t think - wealthier districts included.”
One Giving the Basics recipient said:
“Does anyone out there know what it is like to have people turn away from you because you smell? Well I do and its not a good feeling because it makes you feel worse than you already do … My food stamps keep me from starving but they can’t buy me things to keep me clean.”
EMBR donated 240 wipes to Giving the Basics!
Standing in their warehouse of pallets of products, the team mentioned their need for wipes and how they are running out of the products. Every contribution helps, and one day we dream of being able to contribute pallets of wipes to this incredible organization that is empowering people all around the Kansas City metro to feel clean and feel worthy.