Following Thanksgiving break, students walked around school wearing name tags and signs encouraging others to donate feminine hygiene products to the Sanitary Drive. The idea from this drive came from the 4A Women’s Studies’ class, taught by Laura Paxon-Kluthe.
“This came out of a class discussion and I think part of it was definitely about demystifying menstruation, and being a little bit edgy, but [also] filling a need that nobody really thinks of,” said Paxson-Kluthe. “For women who live on the streets this is a need to have access to a change of sanitary items is a really powerful need because otherwise it’s really unhealthy to not have changes,” she said.
The donations will given to the homeless women in Portland, who often don’t have the resources to purchase the products themselves. “There’s like a huge homeless women population in Portland and I don’t think women should have to decide between purchasing sanitary products or making them, and between a meal because they’re incredibly expensive,” senior Daylee Shaw tells, “and when you’re in a difficult financial situation and you can’t afford something that is so basic, it’s really difficult, so I’m just hoping that it will make women’s lives a little bit easier locally.”
After a week, the students collected 1,137 tampons, 1,223 pads and about $150 in change to spend on sanitary products. Half of the sanitary products collected will be handed to homeless women that are seen on the street, and the other half will be given to shelters such as the Portland rescue mission and Shepherd’s Door.