Four students from the Manteca High Women’s Studies class came up with the idea to help homeless women.
For their finals project, Sariah Hernandez, Jocelyn Arjon, Jacqueline Cortez and Xitlalith Herrera started the Feminine Hygiene Products Drive.
The foursome’s brainstorm of bringing awareness to the needs of homeless women soon became a school-wide project.
According to their teacher Sarah Haskett, donation boxes for the Feminine Hygiene Products Drive were placed in about 20 classrooms at the beginning of December.
The support from there became overwhelmingly.
“We collected 400 to 420 boxes for tampons, pads, liners along with toiletries such as deodorant, toothpaste and dental floss,” said Haskett, who also teaches English at MHS.
This is her first year instructing Women’s Studies. Other groups in her class of 23 students also had final projects but all supported the Feminine Hygiene Product Drive.
“We didn’t think people would care – but they actually do care,” Cortez said.
Herrera recalled that homeless women needs are often omitted during donation drives, with the group finding support in that in a January 2015 Huffington Post article “For Homeless Women, Getting their Period is one of the Most Difficult Challenges” by Eleanor Goldberg.
“Homeless women typically know where to find a safe place to sleep or a hot meal to eat. But when it comes to taking care of their feminine hygiene needs, they often have nowhere to turn. Tampons and sanitary pads usually top the list of needs at shelters, since they’re pricey and supporters often donate them – clean showers are also scarce, and not washing during menstruation can lead to infections,” Goldberg wrote.
Haskett and her students are scheduled to take the donated products to the Hope Family Shelters of Manteca by Wednesday or prior to the winter break.
“We’re hoping that the (Feminine Hygiene Products Drive) can continue on and grow,” Hernandez said.
To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.