By Katherine Mahoney
For The Diamondback
Over the course of five days, four University of Maryland organizations teamed up to collect 725 menstrual products and $205 for a local women’s nonprofit.
The Women in Business Association, Filipino Cultural Association, South Asian Student Association and Chinese Student Association set up a table outside of Adele H. Stamp Student Union from Monday to Friday.
They asked students if they were able to spare a few menstrual products or Venmo a few dollars to help provide pads, tampons and liners to women experiencing homelessness in the community.
For the organizations, it was all about supporting menstrual equity and helping women in the community.
I Support the Girls, the Maryland-based charity the organizations contributed to, collects essential items such as menstrual products, underwear and gently used bras to supply to women and girls across the nation who are experiencing homelessness.
Since 2016, I Support the Girls has donated more than 16 million products to more than 3,500 social service organizations, according to Christiana Littrell, the administrative manager and marketing associate and 2019 graduate of this university. Their collections are donated to homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, public schools, foster care agencies, refugee agencies, LGBTQ+ organizations and more.
“I know a lot of women who would really love to be able to have that kind of safety and comfort of having a tampon with them or a pad,” said Roxanna Jalinoos, the community service vice president for the Women in Business Association. “Especially when there’s other things going on in their lives, and the last thing you need to worry about is periods.”
The Women in Business Association planned this drive near the holiday season because they believe it is a great time to give back to the community and collect donations, said sophomore operations management and business analytics major Jalinoos.
The Filipino Cultural Association, South Asian Student Association and Chinese Student Association all asked to join forces with the Women in Business Association to help with the creation of this drive.
“We also just hope that it eliminates that barrier and that problem when women have to make the choice: do I feed my family or do I buy a pack of pads that I really need? Or do I buy a gift for my kid or do I buy a new bra?” said Littrell.
The organizations want this drive to not only be a way to collect donations for women in need in the community but also to educate the campus on menstrual health and equality and why they think it should be talked about more.
Andrea Cagurangan, historian for the Filipino Cultural Association and member of the community service committee for the Women in Business Association, hopes this drive will help students learn more about menstrual health and encourage them to keep donating to charities like I Support the Girls.
“Any donation is really valuable to us, one little item can help the person receiving it a lot,” said the sophomore marketing and management major.