Local nonprofit brings joy this Mother's Day while also addressing women's health

This Mother's Day weekend, a local organization will give out 1,500 bags filled with pads, deodorant, toothpaste and more.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Local nonprofit organization A Step to Freedom is in the business of helping. On a regular basis, they provide housing and a safe space for people in various stages of their lives and every year, with their Blessing Bag event, they make sure to address period poverty.

"it is important that women don't have to choose between a meal and a pad," said Kenya Croom, CEO of A Step to Freedom. "This is something your period is something you can't do away with. It is natural, and I just want to support them, I want them to feel loved."

A study done in 2021 by hygiene product brand U by Kotex shows that two in five people have struggled to purchase menstrual products. That's a 35% increase since 2018. This Mother's Day weekend, the organization will give out 1,500 bags filled with pads, deodorant, toothpaste and more.

"We're going to start in South L.A., caravan and handout bags and tell women 'We love you, Happy Mother's Day,'" Croom said. "And the smiles that we get from just giving a bag. It keeps me coming back."

At Friday's press conference for the event, Congresswoman Maxine Waters said she appreciates the organization for addressing women's needs and plans to support the cause in the future.

"When you have a nonprofit organization, who understands this and said, 'I know what the system does not do, but I know what we're going to do' and they took it upon themselves," said Congresswoman Waters.

For nine years straight, A Step to Freedom has been handing out these blessing bags. Not only are they addressing women's health, they're hoping to make sure no one feels forgotten this Mother's Day.

"Empowered, loved, beautiful, not forgotten," said Croom about the effect she hopes to have. "I hope that at least one person knows that we thought of her and that she feels loved."

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