We are people who believe we can make our neighbors’ lives easier.
We believe being able to care for our bodies and our family is key to human dignity.
We know that every day we don’t act means a baby without a clean diaper, a teenager without pads, and a family on the precipice.
We believe no one should wake up afraid that they won’t have basic hygiene supplies.
We know there are medical, physical, mental, emotional, and social impacts from hygiene poverty.
If you're concerned about your neighbors and want to help...
YOU'RE ONE OF US.
Justice Necessary works to imagine and implement systemic and sustainable ways to address hygiene poverty in our community.
Together with our partners, we deliver hygiene products to address immediate need and create structures to ensure reliable access to essentials for our neglected neighbors.
We make connections and educate policymakers about this hidden crisis and to build a community where everyone has access to hygiene basics. Having consistent access to quality, eco-friendly hygiene products allows everyone in our community to lead their lives with the dignity we all deserve.
Our Leadership Team
We strive to serve our neighbors with humility and grace. Below are members of our team dedicated to fighting for equal access for all communities.
Diane Cushman Neal
Founder & President
Diane Cushman Neal is the founder and president of Justice Necessary, a Colorado nonprofit founded to fight hygiene and period poverty. Through more than 60 community partnerships, legislative advocacy, and educational initiatives, the organization has made a significant impact.
Since its inception, Justice Necessary has donated more than 4.4 million organic and sustainable period products, 246,000 diaper wipes, and more than 244,000 hygiene products.
Diane founded Justice Necessary, formerly known as “Donations for Dignity” in 2020 after she discovered Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) don’t support the purchase of hygiene products.
Born and raised in California, Diane came to Denver for life-saving medical care when she was given six months to live. Remarkably, that was thirty years ago. Despite the challenges of living with Cystic Fibrosis, and relying on a permanent oxygen tank, Diane continues to live life to the fullest. Her Colorado adventures include skiing, snowshoeing, participating in the Avon 3-Day walk from Boulder to Denver, and even competing in a sprint triathlon.
Diane has garnered recognition for her unwavering perseverance, resilience, determination, and resourcefulness. She lives by the inspiring words of Dr. Jane Goodall, “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”
Working closely with Diane, Melissa orchestrates partner communication, streamlines donation coordination, and maintains the organization’s contacts database. An integral part of the Justice Necessary team, she looks to elevate the impact of every contribution, reflecting a commitment to dignified giving that leaves a lasting impression on those in need.
Armed with a B.S. in Business Administration from Troy University, Melissa’s distinctive background, which spans roles in a diverse array of industries, aligns well with Justice Necessary’s core mission. Her natural organizational talents, acute attention to detail, and zeal for effective communication perfectly complement the initiative’s objectives.
These diverse experiences have fused into an impressive skill set. From expertly maneuvering Microsoft Office and Google Suite to seamlessly transitioning between podcast production and legal document drafting, her capabilities are underscored by an exceptional eye for detail.
Melissa also has embarked on a globe-trotting journey as a military spouse, with residencies in New York, Florida, England, and now Colorado - which have further shaped her perspective on diverse cultures, strengthened her adaptability in ever-changing environments, and enriched her understanding of global connections and the importance of community.
Beyond her professional pursuits, Melissa cherishes her time with her husband, kids, and a faithful dog. Together, they've embraced diverse cultures and landscapes, enriching their lives with unique experiences.
Community Relations Coordinator
Heather is our dedicated Community Relations Coordinator. With over 13 years in the nonprofit, outdoor, and advocacy realms, Heather is a seasoned pro in fundraising and community engagement. She designs robust fundraising strategies, empowers volunteers, nurtures vital donor relationships, and orchestrates impactful events.
A natural leader and catalyst for change, Heather founded High Point Nonprofit Consulting in 2020, assisting organizations like the United States Ski Mountaineering Association and PCOS Challenge. Beyond her professional commitments, she serves on the boards of the American Hiking Society and Big City Mountaineers, advocating for equity and inclusivity in outdoor spaces.
In essence, Heather's deep commitment to community and advocacy aligns perfectly with Justice Necessary's mission.
When she's not passionately pursuing her causes, Heather enjoys spending time with loved ones and exploring the world through travel, sailing, ultrarunning, and finding tranquility in nature.
Heather holds an MS in Recreation, Sports, and Tourism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. This is complemented by studies in Nonprofit Management, Psychology, and Service Leadership at Wartburg College.
How Hygiene Impacts Our Communities
Hygiene poverty doesn’t hold back when it comes to unleashing negative impacts on less fortunate members of our community.
Medical impacts look like: skin irritations, infections, and other health problems caused by the lack of access to clean and hygienic products.
Physical impacts look like: discomfort, pain, and embarrassment, especially in the case of menstrual hygiene management.
Mental and emotional impacts look like: anxiety, shame, low self-esteem, and stress.
Social impacts look like: difficulties in participating in work, school, or social activities, as well as exclusion and stigma from the community.
Left unchecked these impacts can have a profound and long-lasting impact on a person's life. That’s why we’re not going to hold back either until we achieve our goal of ending hygiene poverty for good.
According to our 2022 study of 1,256 women in Colorado, 60% of women with children said they struggled to purchase basic hygiene products in the last 12 months.
WE ARE NOT OKAY WITH THAT.
That’s why we’re committed to making our neighbors’ lives easier by making sure they can get the hygiene basics that assistance programs like WIC and SNAP don’t cover, including diapers, wipes, and period products.
We’re accomplishing this by forming partnerships in our communities to create distribution points for quality, eco-friendly products, and going where help is needed the most.
We’re creating an easy-to-use pantry finder where Coloradans struggling can find organizations that can lend a helping hand.
We’re making sure hygiene is not an afterthought when it comes to Coloradan’s basic needs.
To date, we’ve donated 3,151,326 organic period products, 82,216 and counting eco-friendly diapers and wipes, and 190,348 other basic hygiene essentials.
This is more than just about donating products. It’s about making sure parents can get to work, teens don’t have to miss school, and people of all age groups can maintain a healthy social standard of living.
Our Environmental Commitment
The work of building a fairer, more hygienic world for our neighbors while protecting the planet are intrinsically linked.
No Harmful Chemicals: Organic hygiene products do not contain synthetic chemicals or artificial fragrances. This means they are less likely to cause skin irritation, allergies, or other health problems caused by exposure to harmful chemicals.
Environmentally Friendly: Organic hygiene products are more sustainable and better for the environment. They are often made using renewable resources and are biodegradable, which means they do not harm the environment when they are disposed of.
Better for Sensitive Skin: Organic hygiene products are gentle on the skin, making them ideal for people with sensitive skin or allergies. They are less likely to cause skin irritation or allergic reactions than products made with synthetic chemicals.
No Animal Testing: Organic hygiene products are often cruelty-free and not tested on animals, which means that they are more ethical and humane. We look for suppliers and manufacturers who produce organic and sustainable diapers, wipes, period products, and other hygiene products to minimize the impact of these products and promote healthier options.
Affordability: We want to make sure everyone has access to environmentally friendly products, not just those who can afford it.
Help Our Neighbors
You can be a vital link in the chain that gets hygiene staples to the people who need them. Partner with us to help meet the needs of our communities.