Once faced with a problem of how we could deal with hundreds of thousands of undelivered sample tampons (product samples sent in the mail) I took that question as if it had been delivered by Jesus personally ~ and put some serious thought to it.
We are commanded to visit those in prison ~ whether personally, or to alleviate the conditions of those held there.
That meaning had not been clear to me until faced with this situation ~ hundreds of thousands of undelivered product samples of use to who?
With a little research i found that every prison of any kind in this nation has a charitable group of some kind who make sure appropriate donations get to the prisoners. As those calls started coming in about those samples, I simply directed the callers to contact the warden's office at the nearest prison, or the county sheriff if he ran a jail.
That there were women in need. Many of the people I contacted on the matter ~ starting with Bureau of Prisons in DC ~ advised me that most women's facilities by a one size fits all traditional sanitary napkin ~ and almost never anything more advanced ~ that the only way women prisoners may acquire modern products was from charities, and that almost never happened.
So, there you are folks ~ if you want to do charity directly, find a place housing women prisoners ~ donate tampons.
Over the years those calls didn't stop coming and i found myself answering the question of what to do with those samples for 20 years.
I heartily approve of the Pope's washing of the feet and his visit to prison ~ all of us can follow up with charitable giving to those imprisoned.
I give my samples to the St. Vincent de Paul Society at my church. When they go to visit a new family (usually to deliver a table and chairs or some other furniture) they check the kitchen and the bathroom.
Do they have soap to wash dishes?
Do they have toilet paper in the bathroom?
After finding out that they made these checks I also starting buying a case of TP for them. Sometimes we don’t think about these simple necessities — or rather — take our own supply for granted.
I think the tricky thing would be giving time, rather than money (or better yet, both). I get lazy and think it easier for me to give money rather than my time