By Ella Myrthil
March is Women’s History Month and, in honor of this, Malone’s multicultural services held a menstrual products drive over the course of the month.
“We really don’t realize how much women spend on these products and how expensive they can be — we take it for granted,” Carol Nakata, senior psychology major and co-director of multicultural services, said. “It accumulates throughout women’s lives once they [enter] womanhood and so many people don’t have access to those products.”
Items such as pads, sanitation wipes, pantyliners, underwear packages and tampons were requested during the drive to donate to the Immigrant Worker Project. This organization in downtown Canton is dedicated to helping migrant communities thrive in Ohio.
“We thought it would be a great drive to [organize]. I currently have an internship at the [Immigrant Worker Project,] and I know a lot of the families that come in just need basic [supplies],” Nakata said. “I asked my supervisor if we [could] donate to their organization, and they said they always need products. [The] women would love to get those because sometimes they just can’t afford it.”
One of the Immigrant Worker Project’s programs provides or connects immigrants with services relating to health care access.
“I was surprised by all the donations we got — within the first four days or so, the [donation] bin already looked pretty full!” Faith Benson-Ludle, junior early childhood education major and co-director of multicultural services, said.
“I love how people on campus showed up — it was super cool to see people acknowledging the fact that it is a problem and people do need help with that — because the products are expensive,” Benson-Ludle said.
A package of pads can cost anywhere from $10 to $50. A box of 36 tampons costs about $13 at Walmart. If a woman were to use four tampons a day, that package of 36 tampons would last just over a week, or cover the average period length without much leftover for next month.
“When you’re buying for someone else, you realize that it costs a lot and people can’t always get to stuff like that,” Benson-Ludle said. “It’s super important to have this drive during Women’s History Month because it’s part of our history — all women have to experience it and it’s one thing that brings us all together as women.”
“I think Women’s History Month is really important and that there were a lot of good things Malone did for the month to shine a light on women,” Madeline Gay, junior nursing major, said.
“Homeless shelters and food banks don’t get menstrual products because no one usually wants to donate them,” Gay said. “So it’s a cool thing we did something that a lot of people aren’t doing; it’s something that gets looked over and people don’t talk about.”
In addition to the menstrual product drive, Malone held other events such as panel discussions and group “body talks” in honor of Women’s History Month.
“I have been raised by women that I respect — my sisters, aunts, and my mom — and personally I feel like they deserve to get recognition and credit and that it is necessary to honor women this month,” Jace Ward, junior nursing major, said.
“I am a lifeguard at an aquatic center and we always have to make sure that menstrual products are in stock and that they are free,” Ward said. “I feel that they are definitely overpriced, especially considering that they are made out of cotton and paper products. So, I think this is a very noble cause that Malone is donating to.”
Over Easter break, Nakata and Benson-Ludle delivered the donated menstrual products to the Immigrant Worker Project.
“It was great to be at the [Immigrant Worker Project] and see how appreciative they were,” Benson-Ludle said. “It was just great to do something for other people.”
“This was a successful community outreach and also a way [for] all women to feel connected,” Benson-Ludle said.