The average woman uses over 11,000 tampons in her lifetime, which can cost her up to $70 per year. For some women, feminine hygiene products are not easily accessible or affordable.
But USD’s Students for Reproductive Rights organization help solve this problem. For the last four years, SFRR has held a feminine hygiene drive to bring awareness and relieve period poverty in the Vermillion community.
This is the fifth year of the drive, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the drive will be hosted online. Monetary donations can be made to purchase feminine hygiene products such as tampons and pads.
Krista Honomichl, SFRR president, said although the drive has been moved online, it’s still an effective way to help the community.
“What we realized is that over the past four years the organizations we donate these products to rely on this drive,” Honomichl said in an email interview with The Volante. “They don’t get these kinds of donations from anyone else, and since the issue of period poverty is not taking a break due to this virus, we decided to move our drive online.”
In past years, the products donated during the feminine hygiene drive have been donated to the Vermillion Welcome Table and Domestic Violence Safe Options. In addition to these organizations, this year SFRR will also be donating “period packs” to both the Vermillion Middle and High Schools.
Honomichl said $5 is equal to one box of tampons, so any size of donation is helpful. SFRR’s goal is to raise around $450, which would be equivalent to 3,600 menstrual hygiene products.
Honomichl said the drive has mainly been promoted on SFRR’s social media platforms, but it has been difficult to reach as many individuals.
“The most challenging part of hosting our drive online, rather than on campus, is the lack of physical presence,” Honomichl said. “Not everyone knows who Students for Reproductive Rights are or what we stand for, but they do know about our drive.”
Even without that physical reminder, Honomichl said SFRR is still working hard to reach out to the community and receive donations.
“This event means a lot to me,” Honomichl said. “I think that this is a really good way of reminding people that reproductive rights mean so much more, and it helps raise awareness for period poverty as well.”
SFRR is accepting donations all month long on their GoFundMe page.