Female adviseries spearhead period products drive

Marich and Malamuth adviseries collect menstrual products and money to Support the Girls

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Female adviseries spearhead period products drive

Girls in advisery organizing products to be taken to I Support the Girls

Girls in advisery organizing products to be taken to I Support the Girls

Lee

Girls in advisery organizing products to be taken to I Support the Girls

Lee

Lee

Girls in advisery organizing products to be taken to I Support the Girls

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Two weeks ago, the Marich and Malamuth senior girls’ adviseries spearheaded a period product drive to collect pads, tampons, and donations for women and girls in the Chicagoland area who cannot afford them.

The two adviseries partnered with Support the Girls – Chicago, an organization that distributes period products to various depositories in the Chicago area including shelters, social workers, and post-incarceration centers.

The drive began on Apr. 13, and the adviseries are still accepting donations.

Wanting to collectively plan a service project, the adviseries came up with the idea to provide hygienic necessities that aren’t as easily accessible to women who needed them, partially inspired by a similar drive run by Girl Up last year.

In addition to collecting these products, “We also wanted to bring awareness to this issue. Menstrual products are some of the most needed, but least donated products in homeless shelters,” said math teacher and adviser Dyan Marich.

Period products can cost women thousands of dollars in a lifetime, and many women in the Chicago area and across the world are unable to afford them.

“It’s something most of us take for granted—being able to have such easy access to that. For some girls and women it’s not quite as easy,” said Eloise Trout, a senior in the Marich advisery.

Another Marich advisee, senior Rebecca Miller, said, “It’s a basic human right to be able to be comfortable and clean every month, and we wanted to provide that by donating as many period products as possible.”

The advisees have been visiting other adviseries and collecting throughout the rest of the day as well.

“They came to my advisery around two weeks ago and a lot of us donated extra pads and tampons that we had, including my adviser Mrs. Smith,” said Junior Eileen Wolff.

“I think a lot of us, while not by any means in the same situation as some of these women, understand how important access to feminine hygiene products is.”

While the nature of the drive would seem to encourage the participation of women and girls who are more likely to have pads and tampons in their backpacks, the adviseries wanted to make sure to send the message that access to these necessities is an issue that requires participation from everyone. As a result, in addition to collecting pads and tampons, they’ve also collected cash donations to purchase more products.

“The best part of this process has been seeing how excited both guys and girls get about the cause. I was expecting most of the boys to just avoid eye contact, but I actually got far more cash donations from the boys than from the girls,” said Miller.

The taboo surrounding periods and feminine hygiene has caused female students to adapt and handle emergencies independently. The drive also serves to destigmatize periods and feminine health.

“This is a human rights issue—not just a women’s issue—so all students should be aware of that, and consider making a donation,” said Marich.

This was a subject of discussion earlier in the year when legislation passed in Illinois requiring all school districts and charter schools grades 6-12 to provide period products in bathrooms to students for free.

“Usually girls tuck tampons into sleeves, under waistbands, and in big pockets before running to the bathroom and discreetly changing. While we were going to different adviseries and asking for donations though, we were literally carrying giant gallon Ziplocs of tampons and pads down the halls. It was really cool to see girls not being ashamed of something that’s completely natural,” said Miller.

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