WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — It’s a concept as simple as its name.

Giving the Basics was brought to Wichita by Dr. Erin Kalkbrenner for people unable to purchase toiletries.

“Hygiene products aren’t covered by government assistance programs, so you can’t use SNAP, WIC, EBT to purchase anything like toilet paper, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, feminine hygiene,” said Dr. Kalkbrenner.

Hygiene insecurity is a harsh reality for many.

Maria Bocco-Oyler sees that firsthand working at the Department for Children and Families.

“There are kids at school that cannot raise their hands because they didn’t have deodorant on, or cannot ask the question because they didn’t have supplies or they didn’t brush their teeth that day, or having to reuse the pads,” said Bocco-Oyler. “Those are the things that we don’t even think about.”

Getting these items goes beneath the surface.

“Our hope is just that we’re providing at least that one little part that can help, whether it’s your day become better, or your whole life becomes better,” said Dr. Kalkbrenner.

The non-profit partners with 140 schools and 43 organizations to disperse basic necessities to people in need.

“We’re hoping that that helps with attendance rates in schools and therefore they are more likely to graduate, whether it’s more schooling or jobs,” said Dr. Kalkbrenner.

Improving someone’s situation doesn’t have to be complicated. Simple gestures lead to tremendous impacts.

“Giving the Basics is the blessing to our community,” said Bocco-Oyler.

People can sign up to host a dignity drive. Giving the Basics will provide barrels to collect products in and flyers to advertise.

Three ways to support:

  1. Volunteer; group opportunity available and community night, the first Wednesday of every month at 5:30 p.m.
  2. Financial donations: all financial donations go directly toward product purchases
  3. Host a dignity drive