PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) -- When people think about homelessness, they think about socks, coats and sleeping bags. However, many times, women's needs for feminine products are overlooked.
Every28Days -- a reference to a woman's menstrual cycle every 28 days -- is a nonprofit that collects feminine hygiene products to give to homeless women.
On Monday morning, volunteers with the group went to Hazel Dell grocery outlet and bought more than $850 worth of products.
The tampons and sanitary pads were then given to Share House, YWCA, food banks and 10 other Clark County nonprofits who will hand them out to homeless women and girls.
"In our community, almost half the people who are homeless are women and often times children," said Mike Filbin of Filbin's Ace Hardware. "So we just need to think differently and once people realize that it's kind of a light going on moment and we have an opportunity to do something here that's really great for the families."
While people regularly donate food, clothing and sleeping bags to help homeless people, it's very rare for people to donate feminine hygiene products. Often times, homeless women are forced to use toilet paper or newspapers when they're menstruating.
"It's a huge problem for them to figure out what to do and the items that they are using and the things that they are creating to use during that time causes a lot of medical problems," Lisa Goodrick with Every28Days said.
Thirty-five donation bins collect feminine hygiene products year-round.
Last year, Every28Days collected 4,000 packages of products, which provided homeless women with more than 4 months worth of sanitary pads and tampons.