Psychology Department Donates Feminine Products to Local Girls

November 30, 2016

The cost to supply one individual with enough feminine products for one month is $5.55.

With this in mind Mary Baldwin University’s psychology department is hosting a community service project titled: “5.55.”

The mission behind the fundraiser is a feminine product drive to supply 26 girls in the Augusta County area with feminine supplies that they are unable to purchase on their own due to financial limitations.

According to the head of the psychology department, Heather Macalister, low-income teens frequently miss school during their menstrual cycles because they lack access to sanitary supplies.

Baldwin Online and Adult students Tina Armentrout, Stephenie Monk, Karen Tarrant, and Karissa Castle  at a drive they organized to collect feminine hygiene products outside the Waynesboro Kroger.
Baldwin Online and Adult students Tina Armentrout, Stephenie Monk, Karen Tarrant, and Karissa Castle at a drive they organized to collect feminine hygiene products outside the Waynesboro Kroger.

“Working with the Augusta County schools, we have identified 26 homeless adolescent female students whom we hope to serve with deliveries of “monthly boxes” of feminine supplies,” Macalister said.

This project is unique in that feminine products are often missing from donations to women’s shelters, facilities for the homeless, and food banks. The lack of supplies becomes more than an inconvenience for some girls, for many it can be harmful to their education.

“When menstruating girls need to miss school this becomes an issue of gender equality in education,” Macalister said. “Getting these girls the supplies they need so they can get back in the classroom improves their shot at success.”

Mary Baldwin students are holding drives for the products around Augusta County for this initiative.

Mary Baldwin College for Women student Brittany Ellett organized and hosted a movie night and bake sale on November 18 and received several boxes from student donators.

Four Baldwin Online and Adult psychology students organized a drive outside the Waynesboro Kroger on November 20. Over 64 boxes of products were collected, as well as $163, which students then used to purchase an additional 43 boxes.

In order to supply the local teens with enough products to last the entire year, organizers estimate they will need to collect $1,450 per academic year in donations. The phycology department is encouraging students from every discipline to get involved in the project.

There are two collection points for the products around the Mary Baldwin campus.  A donation box is set up outside the Spencer Center in Wenger Hall and one is in Macalister’s office in the Pearce Science Center.

The first distribution of “monthly boxes” will be delivered on December 1; each box will supply a girl for two months.  The response to the 5.55 feminine hygiene drives has already been so successful that organizers expect to deliver another two-month supply in February and in April and hope to see the drive extended it even into future school years.