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
“There is nothing, absolutely nothing more important than meeting our basic human needs.” – Simon Cohen
Diane Cushman Neal founded Justice Necessary to be a lifeline for multiple generations: babies and teens, parents, and adults.
Diane received a B.A. and B.S. and, shortly thereafter, moved to Colorado after being told she had 6 months to live. 16 years later, Diane was officially diagnosed with having Cystic Fibrosis (C.F.)—a genetic, chronic, and progressive disease affecting the lungs, liver, pancreas, and digestive tract. C.F. also causes C.F. related arthritis and diabetes. Thanks to Dr. Richard Martin and the entire C.F. team at National Jewish Health in Denver, Diane’s 6 months has surpassed 30 years.
Diane has successfully completed the Boulder Bolder, a mini-triathlon, and the Avon 3-Day Breast Cancer walk from Boulder to Denver. She has also downhill skied, cross-country skied, and snowshoed, all while caring a tank of oxygen on her back. Diane has always said, “without your health, you have nothing.” She believes wholeheartedly in what Simon Cohen said: “the most important thing is providing for essential human needs.”
These basic needs include access to medical care, access to clean water, a toothbrush, toothpaste, feminine hygiene, diapers, soap, and other items many of us are fortunate enough to take for granted.
Security, safety, and dignity are fundamental basic human needs, which can, together break the cycle of poverty that traps so many of our neighbors.
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.
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.