“We seek to support human dignity. When individuals have access to hygiene products, they are more confident, making our community stronger.”
That is the idea behind Giving the Basics, a Kansas City, Kansas-based nonprofit which provides basic hygiene items not covered by government assistance programs. For the past decade, Giving the Basics has worked alongside hundreds of Kansas City area organizations and schools to supply the basic necessities for a clean and healthy life. That list of partner agencies includes Kim Wilson Housing and Frank Williams Outreach Center.
Frank Williams Outreach Center is a drop-in center for individuals experiencing homelessness. The center offers a number of services, including laundry and shower facilities and distributing survival gear. Giving the Basics makes those services possible.
“Giving the Basics supplies about 90 percent of the items we give out at Frank Williams,” says Cierra Nixon, supervisor at Frank Williams Outreach Center. “Giving the Basics is essential to us being able to operate and offer showers and things like that.”
Giving the Basics provides essential items including deodorant, shampoo, toothbrushes, feminine hygiene products and laundry soap to children and adults in the metro area. And while these items are basic necessities, they can make a big difference in someone’s life.
“The products provided by Giving the Basics help children avoid being bullied and make it possible for job seekers to show up at interviews looking their best,” says Chandra Goebel, Financial Controller for Giving the Basics. “They enable young women to participate in sports without having to miss practices or competitions. They increase school attendance and allow parents to keep their homes sanitary and their families healthy.”
Over the past 4 years, Giving the Basics has provided more than 26,000 hygiene products to individuals served by Frank Williams Outreach Center and Kim Wilson Housing. Nixon says that the clients at Frank Williams Outreach Center are very appreciative of the items they receive through Giving the Basics.
“They’re very grateful for the dignity to be able to have these items,” says Nixon. “They’re able to come and ask for these items and get them without being embarrassed. They’re just very grateful.”
To learn more about Giving the Basics, visit www.givingthebasics.org.