“Among the most important human needs is the desire for respect and dignity. That need doesn’t change when a person becomes ill or disabled. Indeed, it may grow even stronger.”
— National Caregivers Library

What’s one of the first things you do when you get up in the morning? Besides eat breakfast, you most likely shower, brush your teeth, shave or wash your face — routine self-care before you head out the door. And you probably don’t think twice about buying toiletries or personal hygiene products.

But what if you had to make a choice between spending your money on medication, food, or toiletries? What if you don’t have any money at all? Soap, clean underwear, toothpaste, feminine hygiene products can mean a world of difference to a person recovering from mental illness, who may also be homeless or otherwise economically disadvantaged. (We estimate that one-third of our clients are homeless or living in community residential facilities.)

We are grateful to Metro Offices for sponsoring our first-ever Dignity Drive on our behalf. At each of their DC and Greater Washington locations, Metro Offices gathered bags and bags of toiletries, hygiene items, underwear, and other everyday necessities, which are being distributed to our clients. We know that with basic needs met*, our clients are better able to focus their energy on recovery, independence, and a better quality of life. (*McClendon Center’s Day Program also distributes two nutritious meals each day to program participants.)


Caitlin Gritt, McClendon Center Board member, who made the introductions between Metro Offices and McClendon Center, commented “We’re advocating on behalf of those we serve — because many of them cannot speak for themselves. I’m so grateful to work in such a supportive office space, surrounded by generous, engaged citizens.”

If you would like to host a Dignity Drive at your office, or as part of a community service project, please contact Elissa Brooks (ebrooks@mcclendoncenter.org) or use our Donate Now button to make a financial contribution.

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