They say some of the best ideas are born out of necessity. For Teresa Hamilton, it was the “basic necessities.”
In 2008, Teresa was approached by an acquaintance seeking help affording toilet paper for herself and her family. Teresa was shocked to learn that, even with government assistance, her friend struggled to give her family basic items like soap, shampoo, toilet paper and feminine hygiene products. As result, there were times the kids even stayed home from school rather than
endure the bullying they faced. Teresa helped her friend get back on her feet, but knew there had to be others that faced the same dilemma.
After intense market research, Giving the Basics, a 501(c) nonprofit dedicated to providing basic hygiene and toiletry products to those in need, was born. Giving the Basics partners with organizations like Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas to help fill gaps where donations may fall short.
“When people think of our Emergency Assistance Centers, food is the first thing that comes to mind,” said Dustin Hardison, Director of Stabilization and Housing. “But the people we serve are also in need of soap and shampoo and the basics. It’s hard to go to school or a job interview if you look and smell dirty.” The residents of Shalom House, Catholic Charities’ shelter for men experiencing homelessness, are also some of the recipients of these hygiene products.