Dignity Warehouse: Online Shopping with a Charitable Twist

Bianca Settino, The Unmentionables’ Social Media Manager

At first glance, the refugee crisis might seem too complex and insurmountable, making you feel like there’s nothing you, or anyone else, can do. The UNHCR estimates that in 2016, the number of displaced people hit an all-time high, surpassing 65.6 million. Overwhelmed by this figure, people don't believe they can help and as a result, they feel disconnected from the hardships faced by refugees. At The Unmentionables, we strive to bridge this gap. With our Dignity Warehouse, we're raising awareness for the basic human needs of refugees and showing people that every dollar can directly empower them with health, dignity, and choice.

When was the last time you shopped for a total stranger? Our Dignity Warehouse doesn’t sell you anything. Most of us already own everything we need and buying more stuff doesn't make us any happier. Turning online shopping on its head, our Dignity Warehouse “store” offers a meaningful shopping experience that fills you with both a sense of purpose and the satisfaction of knowing you are impacting someone’s life. While you end up empty handed, your donations go towards providing vital items like undergarments, sanitary pads, and condoms to those who truly need and appreciate them. While many take these basic necessities for granted, they are often considered “unmentionable” and are desperately needed by refugees.

When you donate to charity, you often don't know exactly where your money is going. However, by shopping our Dignity Warehouse, every dollar supports our mission of providing forcibly displaced people with safe and consistent access to sexual and reproductive health education, services, protection, and empowerment programs, giving them the knowledge, tools, and skills to make well-informed decisions for their futures. You aren't left wondering how your contribution is being spent. What you buy is what is used to stock The Unmentionables Resource Center’s shelves and every purchase you make fulfills urgent needs for basic necessities. Whenever possible, we use donations to provide the exact purchased products to refugees at our Resource Center in Athens. Funds are redistributed only if needs drastically change, or if too many or too few of certain items are bought.

While intimate health products may seem like small things, they are intricately tied to increased empowerment. During migration crises, people often face terrible situations that interfere with their human rights and dignity. Clean undergarments and personal hygiene items not only protect refugees from disease, infection, and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), but they also empower them with confidence and self-worth. Moreover, refugees often receive products that they might not feel comfortable using or that don't fulfill their needs. Purchases made through our Dignity Warehouse allow displaced people to regain the sense of dignity they have lost by allowing them to “shop” to select their free unmentionable products in Athens, empowering them with genuine choice for these basic necessities.

Our Dignity Warehouse leaves you with a better understanding of the refugee reality. By allowing you to directly purchase underwear, condoms, or feminine hygiene products for refugees, we're also increasing human connection and affirming our shared humanity. For an online shopping experience you can feel good about, shop our Dignity Warehouse to help alleviate the refugee crisis and empower refugees, one intimate health product at a time.

Bianca Settino