Hygiene help for the homeless

Debi Dopps fills a bag with toiletries and other items for homeless women in Federal Way. - Margo Horner/The Mirror
Debi Dopps fills a bag with toiletries and other items for homeless women in Federal Way.
— image credit: Margo Horner/The Mirror


It’s hard for a modern woman to imagine life without sanitary napkins or tampons.

But that life is a reality for many homeless women. Instead of sanitary napkins, homeless women will often wad up toilet paper from public restrooms and fashion themselves makeshift pads.

“To think that there were people who didn’t even have those, it’s kind of gross,” said Hope Elder, a coordinator from the Federal Way Community Caregiving Network, which provides food and services for the homeless in Federal Way.

“The idea of a woman not having the necessities of life is hard to take,” Elder said.

The women at All Saints Lutheran Church in Federal Way recently recognized the need for sanitary napkins and other items in the homeless population — and stepped in to help.

Last weekend, church members gathered to put together 40 hygiene kits to donate to homeless women in Federal Way. Each kit contained a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, washcloth, body lotion, hair brush, shampoo, lip balm, deodorant, a scarf and feminine hygiene products.

Items for the kits were provided by donations from church members.

The hygiene kits will be given to women who attend the Monday night suppers for the homeless hosted by the Federal Way Community Caregiving Network at Steel Lake Presbyterian Church.

“It was just items we felt they couldn’t get for themselves,” said church member Cheri Staples, who helped organize the project.

“The Lord is really working in wonderful ways through the women in this church,” Staples said.

Contact Margo Horner: or (253) 925-5565.


Volunteers are needed to assist with a Monday night supper to feed the less fortunate at Steel Lake Presbyterian Church, 1829 S. 308th St., Federal Way. Dishwashers are needed from 4:30 to 6 p.m. the third Monday of the month. A coordinator is needed one Monday a month. To learn more, call Hope Elder at (253) 941-7939.

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