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Feminine hygiene drive raised awareness

By Staff | Jun 16, 2017

During the month of May, Women’s March Eastern Panhandle partnered with Planned Parenthood South Atlantic in a feminine hygiene product drive in observation of Menstrual Hygiene Day. The annual May 28 event aims to increase awareness of proper menstrual hygiene and break through taboos for women and girls worldwide.

We were made aware that many low income women and girls are hard-pressed to afford proper sanitary products, especially since they can’t be purchased with food stamps or Medicaid. Many states with sales taxes classify tampons as luxury items and are taxed as non-necessities. We find it disturbing that women are missing work, and young women are missing school because they don’t have proper hygiene products. Homeless women are disproportionately affected by the difficulty of accessing proper facilities for bathing, in addition to lack of sanitary pads and tampons. As a result, shelters always list feminine hygiene products on their wish lists for donations.

We wanted to assist Planned Parenthood with their mission to help those in need and did not have to look far to find a local non-profit charity. Local businesses also partnered with us to place drop-off boxes for products, and we oversaw two separate GoFundMe pages to raise funds to purchase even more products. We ended up donating 101 boxes of feminine hygiene products to Jefferson County Community Ministries.

Women’s March Eastern Panhandle would like to thank Planned Parenthood for allowing us the honor to take part in such an important action. We also would like to recognize all those who donated products and money and the local businesses who so graciously allowed us to place our drop-off boxes in their spaces. Many thanks go to Charles Town Library, The Local Source, Town Run Brewery, Vivo Hair Salon, and Sokel MakeUp & SkinCare. Our next feminine hygiene drive will benefit local schools, as we discovered that many school nurses purchase products out-of-pocket to provide feminine hygiene products to their students in need.

Sherri Harris

Charles Town