A New Take on Blood Drive
By Anna Wolf and Hannah Murray
Starting Wednesday, December 7th, students will be running a feminine hygiene products drive for the Tubman Foundation. The Tubman Foundation is a direct supporter of Anne Pierce Rogers Community Health Center in Saint Paul Park, a women’s shelter. All donations will go directly from the foundation to this shelter. This shelter, among others, provides a home and a safe place for women and children who are escaping domestic and other types of violence.
Problems that develop from running a women’s shelter stem from the fact that these shelters must remain hidden. While being hidden is a necessity to the protection of these women, it also means that there is very little discussion or awareness surrounding the shelters. And with little acknowledgement, comes few donations. Consequently, due to a lack of money, women can end up going without the barest of necessities, especially in cases where they have to feed their children. There are women so poor that, in order to feed their children, they have no choice but to put trash in their underwear since they can’t get a hold of sanitary napkins.
Ashley Farr, a senior at East Ridge, believes that one basic right that every woman has is access to tampons and pads. This should not exclude those who are less privileged.
Farr, therefore, has taken the initiative to collect feminine hygiene products. This includes all toiletry items, from tampons to diapers.
To many, this is an awkward topic. But the reality is that personal hygiene products, especially tampons and pads, are biological and social necessities. It is common that homeless women will go without tampons, pads, deodorant, toothpaste, and diapers, all of which are fundamentally necessary.
This is the issue that Farr wants to change, and this is why all student donations are needed to make a serious impact on the lives of women in the shelter.
However, there were initial concerns among male administrators that the terms “tampon’ and “pad” are distracting. This issue has since been cleared up, but for those ignorant of women’s hygiene here is a quick fact: tampons are a basic necessity for women. They aren’t offensive or disruptive, because they aren’t sexual objects--they help women be healthy and clean while dealing with an involuntary part of being female.
So Farr asks, “Please. For the women who could have been your sister, mother, relative, or friend. Donate. Ask your sisters or mothers if they have anything extra. Buy a two-dollar pack at the store. If you feel uncomfortable with that, diapers, deodorant, or even toothpaste, would be greatly appreciated as well.”
Farr will be running the tampons and other personal hygiene items collection from Wednesday, December 7th, until Friday, December 17th. There will be a box and a table set up at each lunch everyday for donations. Feel free to contact her with questions.