Hope and Comfort Inc.

The Need

Can you imagine not being able to meet your most basic personal hygiene needs? This is a reality for Sarah, a high school student. She does not have access to basic toiletries like soap and deodorant and cannot bathe before school. She is constantly embarrassed about her appearance and smell. Her peers tease her. She is ashamed to ask her teachers for help and her schoolwork is suffering. It is also a reality for David, who hurt his back at work and is now disabled. He is running out of money and is unable to support his family. He is forced to pick between buying shampoo for his young children and paying his bills.

Obtaining personal hygiene products can be a huge challenge. They are expensive and buying them can shift money away from other important purchases like healthcare and transportation. In addition, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits do not cover these products.

The inability to gain access to essential personal hygiene products can cause severe strain. According to a study conducted by Feeding America, 58% of low-income individuals who were unable to buy personal care products reported cutting back on food to afford toiletries; 40% reported skipping or delaying rent payments to obtain products. In addition, 47% of study participants reported feeling stressed and worried often or constantly.

At Hope and Comfort, we see how something as basic as a bar of soap can have a huge impact on how individuals feel about themselves and their surroundings. Because of this, we work tirelessly to bring these critical products to all who need them.

The Mission

Hope and Comfort’s mission is to provide essential hygiene products to support and improve the health, self-esteem, and hygiene education of school-aged children and young adults in need within Greater Boston.

The Method

Hope and Comfort carries out this mission by working with a distribution network that includes multiple food pantries, children’s organizations, and human services organizations. Donated items are sorted and delivered to organizations within this network. These organizations distribute the products to children and adults who currently go without. Hope and Comfort focuses its efforts on serving Boston and its surrounding towns.