AxessPointe Community Health Centers, Inc. Receives $5,000 Grant to Support Personal Hygiene Closet
AKRON, OH (Jan. 14, 2020) — AxessPointe Community Health Centers, Inc. has received a $5,000 grant from the Shaw Foundation Fund of Akron Community Foundation to support its Personal Hygiene Closet expansion to their Broadway location in downtown Akron.
The Personal Hygiene Closet is currently available to AxessPointe patients at their Arlington and Barberton locations. The closet is stocked with many types of hygiene products, such as deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, laundry detergent, diapers and feminine hygiene products. Patients AxessPointe serves typically face barriers to care, and there are many reasons why they may not have these necessities. To help patients lead healthier lifestyles, the Personal Hygiene Closet was created, where patients can discreetly receive these items while they are in for an appointment at no cost to them.
“Adding a third hygiene closet will empower our patients, allow them to be healthier and give them an increased level of confidence,” said Chris Richardson, CEO of AxessPointe. “We’re looking forward to the completion of the project and are thankful for the generous support of our community partners, like Akron Community Foundation.”
“We were seeing an increased need to address a lack of hygiene products with our patients and the conversation just wasn’t being had. Whether it was because patients were afraid of being looked down upon or they just didn’t know how to talk about it,” stated Marihelyn Horrigan, AxessPointe’s Nurse Care Manager and one of the key orchestrators of the hygiene closet. “When we truly approached the conversation with a non-judgmental tone, patients began to share their stories.”
The original idea for the Personal Hygiene Closet came when AxessPointe learned that many teenage girls in the area were missing school each month due to not having necessary feminine hygiene products. Often, parents are forced to sacrifice to keep food on the table, which leads to even bigger consequences such as missed work or school for many young girls when the cost of these items is too high. A period should end a sentence, not a girl’s education or a women’s work opportunity. In order to combat this, the closet was developed. So far, it has been running solely off the generosity of supply donations from community partners, community members and AxessPointe staff.
AxessPointe is a federally qualified health center (FQHC) serving more than 20,000 patients in 2019 throughout Summit and Portage counties. AxessPointe has five current sites in Northeast Ohio, including three in Akron, one in Kent and one in Barberton. An FQHC is a non-profit corporation that delivers primary medical, dental and preventive health services in medically underserved areas. AxessPointe also provides pharmacy, women’s health and behavioral health services. For more information visit axesspointe.org.
About Akron Community Foundation
Celebrating 64 years of building community philanthropy, Akron Community Foundation embraces and enhances the work of charitable people who make a permanent commitment to the good of the community. In 1955, a $1 million bequest from the estate of Edwin Shaw established the community foundation. As of Sept. 30, 2019, it is a philanthropic endowment of nearly $225 million with a growing family of more than 650 funds established by charitable people and organizations from all walks of life. The community foundation and its funds welcome gifts of all kinds, including cash, bequests, stock, real estate, life insurance and retirement assets, just to name a few. To date, the community foundation’s funds have awarded more than $169 million in grants to qualified nonprofit organizations. For more information about Akron Community Foundation or to learn more about creating your own charitable fund, call 330-376-8522 or visit www.akroncf.org.