At some point in their lives, every woman experiences the coming of age ritual of getting her first period.
Tampons, pads and other menstrual products are essential for every woman.
The ability to access these products is as simple as picking them up from the grocery store for many. However, getting these products isn’t easy for everyone.
The tampon drive is a week-long donation period that happens once a year, sponsored by the Girls for Girls Club. Its purpose is to donate products such as tampons and pads to the Lydia House in Omaha.
The Lydia House is a section of the Open Door Mission, specifically for single women and single moms. Food, shelter and clothing are some of the basic needs that are provided. These products are also donated more frequently than tampons and pads, which are just as important for women.
“Tampons, pads and other feminine products aren’t really things that get donated normally, but it’s still a necessity for every woman,” junior co-head of the Girls for Girls Club Quinn Findley said.
Although donating multiple boxes of feminine products can make a significant impact on the women who live in the Lydia House, there’s always going to be a need for more in the future.
The tampon drive may be over for this year, but there are still many ways to help homeless or low-income women who still struggle to obtain pads and tampons. Donations to the Lydia House are always welcome year round. Findley and junior Anna Dailey agree that getting the donations themselves is a hard task because talking about periods is still considered a taboo topic. This makes people more uncomfortable to donate, even if the products are greatly needed. Even if there is more comfort around the topic of periods at an all girls school like Marian, it is still an uncomfortable topic for our country as a whole to talk about. “I think that it still shouldn’t be a touchy topic,” Dailey said.
“I think Marian girls are very open about it, which is a good thing,” Findley said.
Because tampons and pads are still taxed as “luxury goods”, in all states except for 15 as of June 2019, the costs are just too high for women who are low-income or live in poverty. “I really don’t understand why there’s a tax on them,” Findley said.
“I don’t either,” Dailey said, “because it’s literally a necessity.”
Out of 217 responses in the October Network survey, 96 percent said they believe that all women should have easy access to feminine products. According to Jessica Kane of Huffington Post, over the span of a woman’s lifetime, she will spend around $1,773.33 on tampons alone. These high prices make achieving these products almost unattainable for some women.
It’s easy to take things like tampons and pads for granted when we’ve never not had them accessible to us. “We don’t even think about running out or not ever being able to afford them,” Dailey said.
Girls for Girls may try to bring awareness to the Marian community by showing the documentary Period. End of Sentence. This documentary will show how women in other countries deal with their periods without easy access to feminine products.
Altogether, the tampon drive accumulated 85 boxes of tampons that were delivered to the Lydia House. These boxes will help numerous women and give them the basics they need to make their lives a little easier.