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Girl Up Period Product Drive check in

March 28, 2022

Central has many clubs to accommodate all types of people. One of those clubs is Girl Up. Girl Up is a club that aims to create a supportive environment, spread positivity, educate and raise awareness for minority groups while also creating a platform for students to have conversations.  

Earlier this year, Girl Up had a period product drive. The goal was to collect pads, tampons and even menstrual cups for students and staff to use. Women are about half of the world’s population, so periods are common, but they are not cheap. This drive was a way to try and help students and staff access menstrual products. 

“We recognized that access to health products was incredibly limited within the school and as a club, we feel it is a basic right to have tampons and pads available at all times. As a club, we worked to make posters and communicate with Central administrators to get our drive in the daily announcements. We also have a social media presence that helped us get the word out online,” said junior Olivia Kiefer, who has been a part of Girl Up since her freshman year.  

This drive also attempted to reduce the stigma around periods. Many women are told to not talk about them because it can make people uncomfortable, but periods are a reality of life. Girl Up believes women should not have to feel bad about having a period.  

The product collection was a success. There were many donations, and boxes with period products can be found in many classrooms.  

“We were overwhelmed and pleased by the number of donations we received and continue to receive as we replenish the baskets in classrooms,” Kiefer said. “We then got together on a day we were all off school and put together the baskets, making them pretty in hopes of normalizing and taking away shame in having a period.” 

The boxes are distributed throughout the school and have been successful. Some have even begun to run low. The members of Girl Up have been re-stocking them. They plan on doing another round of donations to maintain a flow of products to make sure everyone has access to products when needed.  

But, as with any donation drive, there were a few hardships. One was simply getting the word out. The first two weeks of the drive, Girl Up did not receive a lot of donations, but eventually they were able to triple their donations.  

“There were a few teachers hesitant to put out the boxes but consented, nonetheless. Besides that, it went smoothly,” sophomore Etta Salzman said.  

Olivia Kiefer and Alice Larson will continue their leadership in Girls Up next year and are planning on expanding the program to more classrooms. They hope to pass the project on when they graduate. This drive is not expected to be around for as long as people are willing to donate.  

Girl Up is always looking for new members, no matter their gender. Donations are also still appreciated.  

“Keep in mind when referring to these products, more than just women use them so to be more inclusive, I implore you to adjust your vocabulary to ‘period products’ or ‘menstrual products’ as opposed to ‘feminine hygiene products.’” Salzman said. “If you have the means to donate it is greatly appreciated, but if you can’t, spreading the word about this drive or showing any support of Girl Up at all is effective.” 

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