Dear Valued Readers,
I have been inspired to write this post as a result of reading one in the previous weeks. The post itself was mostly centered around a man taking advantage of coupons and buying 39 packages of pantiliners. Suffice to say, this man had no use for so many pantiliners and many readers echoed my own thoughts… why not donate any extra maxi pads, tampons or pantiliners you have lying around? Having volunteered at shelter’s in the past (both genders), shelters often find themselves low on feminine hygiene products, especially if they have a larger intake of menstruating females (a la Women’s Shelter).
I will say though, for some odd reason, I find that many shelters but in their “needs list” that they request for sanitary pads (maxi or thin) but will omit tampons. I do not understand why, since both have their own merits, although I guess someone who uses strictly pads would not be comfortable using tampons, but those who use tampons at the very least will use pads. This never came to my mind, although if any of you work or have worked at a women’s shelter and know the “proper” answer to this, feel free to let me know!
I think when it comes to donating to shelters, sometimes these items tend to get overlooked. I know that when I volunteered (though they did not mention to the male-helpers) to female volunteers that if they could spare maxi pads to donate them. There are times when I have these great coupons that are “Save $5 on any 2 purchases of Stayfree, Carefree or O.B.” that if I catch a good sale at Shoppers Drug Mart, “$5.99 for any two Stayfree, Carefree or O.B.” – I could actually get 2 items for only $0.99 (well plus tax and stuff) and then donate them to local shelters. I don’t live in a particular affluent city and I know there are many (although unknown to many) small shelters, particularly abused-women centers. I don’t want people to start thinking I’m a pervert or something just because I happen to know of even the “hidden” women’s shelter, but I have a lot of connections within my community who happen to sometimes have “less public” information.
On a funny note, I found one particular shelter on the internet that requested for “maxi pads” and on several lines underneath, put in “Tampax”… I would hope to imagine they meant “tampon” since it’d be kind of strict to say they only want Tampax-brand products, LOL. Unfortunately, I have noticed that none of the women’s shelter needs-list I have looked at so far indicate the request of donation for any type of reusable products, but I would imagine that might be a bit too much work or too much discomfort to be used in a public shelter. I would think that if plausible, using something like Lunapads or Gladrags would help encourage re-usability of menstrual products since these women aren’t generally well-off enough to (sorry to those who may be offended by this) afford feminine hygiene products every month. Remember many of these women may be in shelters as a result of rape, physical/sexual abuse, emotional instability, homelessness, struggling single-mother’s, etc. who are in need of assistance and something as simple as those who live in a more luxurious environment take for granted, feminine hygiene products.
It dawned upon me that one time when my friend was cleaning up his aunt’s house who passed away, he found a load of feminine hygiene products in her washroom. It did not cross our minds to donate them to charity to local shelters and instead, we gave them to his fellow family/friends. Now that I think about it, I’m sure that these would’ve been a lot better in the hands of those who are really needy. I don’t want to generalize that all women who show up in these shelters as being poor or anything like that, I simply know just from experience and listening around that shelters often lack feminine hygiene supplies because many people overlook donating such products.
The next time you happen to get free pads or tampons or even when there are good sales, don’t forget to get some extra and help the many women who are down-on-their-luck or under unfortunate circumstances, require our lending hand and products that we can spare. Don’t forget, if you’re one of those people who are considered in a decent financial position, you are a lot better off than many other! Take the time to donate to international and local charities. If you’re not in the habit of donating feminine hygiene supplies, everything from pots and dishes to monetary assistance is greatly appreciated by organizations and of course the recipients of it! With your help, we can lift at least one thing off a woman’s mind to help them concentrate on getting back up on their feet!
Although I am not affiliated with any particular charities, I can certainly thank you on their behalf.