Get to Know the 'I Support the Girls' Organization
No one should be forced to choose between feeding themselves or purchasing personal hygiene products.
This quote is a partial synopsis of the I Support the Girls movement. A movement that fights to retain the dignity of individuals who lack access or can’t afford many necessities and essential items, like bras, underwear, and menstrual hygiene products. The I Support the Girls organizations main objective is to collect and distribute new and gently used bras and underwear, as well as individually sealed tampons and maxi pads. Through their many national and international affiliate locations, these products are distributed to the great populace of people who may be homeless, refugees, in transitional housing, in shelters or fleeing domestic violence.
Chicago (My Town) Affiliate
I was blessed with the opportunity to interview Ellen, a representative from I Support the Girls’ Chicago affiliate. Through our engaging conversations I learned a little about the setup of donations, how they're distributed, and more importantly, the who. Who their target population is, and the many avenues this organization reaches out to them.
Best Products for Homeless Clients
One point during this interview that was significant for me came after discussing how reusable pads help the population of individuals staying in shelters or who might be homeless. Ellen said that disposable products are a better fit for these clients, because they cannot always clean materials, and this could open them up to infection. This dialogue was noteworthy for me because; it not only opened my eyes to the fact a good majority of the homeless population cannot render a reusable pad to be reusable for the simple fact of not having washing machines.
Reusable Pads Save Money for Those Who Can Use Them
It addition, Ellen introduced me to another population of individuals who could find a reusable pad extremely useful. This population is fortunate enough to have a house and washing machine to wash the reusable pad but cannot bear the financial burden of buying disposable products every month. A gift of reusable pads or menstrual cups can save them a lot of money.
A bulk of the inventory for I Support The Girls comes from generous donations from companies, but also from individuals as well. This inventory consists of gently used bras, and individually sealed tampons and maxi pads.
Donations Change Lives
How can a donation help? As you may know, people experiencing homelessness cannot always afford or have access to new bras & menstrual products. Having to choose between your next meal and a box of menstrual products is unethical, by denying them their basic human necessities, we are taking away their dignity and self-respect. Through a considerable number of donations, this inequality can start making its progress to being solved.
About the Author
Josh Inyang, a recent graduate of Northern Illinois University who studied Public Health with an emphasis in health administration chose to spend his summer researching period poverty. Josh is a natural leader: he was voted president of his fraternity, as well as president of the governing Greek council during his last year at NIU. Josh is no stranger for advocating for the less fortunate: he has accumulated over 150 documented community service hours his senior year. With uterUS, Josh will be focusing on period poverty, a topic that is extraordinary among men his age. Josh is highly enthused in the uplift of others, and has become dedicated to the period poverty movement.