period poverty

This Sunday, on Valentine’s Day, the Analy Mental Health Club will be collecting feminine hygiene products and new and lightly used bras at Rust Boutique in the Barlow between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The founders of the club, Alexa Pina and Natalie Mora, sent out a handsome pink flyer bearing the words “End Period Poverty” over social media this week.

“We’re really excited to do this because Alex and I both saw a pressing need in our community,” Mora said, “Many women aren’t able to afford period products because of how high they’re usually priced. That results in them not having them, which is unsanitary.”

“We think that every woman deserves the right to have period products supplied to them,” Mora said, noting that no one chooses to menstruate.

Pina agreed. “These products are necessities but they’re not priced like necessities,” she said. “They’re priced as if they were high-priced novelty items, and they really shouldn’t be because it’s something that most women have to deal with on a monthly basis.”

Pina said people can drop off boxes of pads and tampons in a collection bin at Rust. They are also collecting new or lightly used bras, new masks and hand sanitizer. Whatever they collect will be donated to Catholic Charities, which will distribute them locally to women in need.

Pina and Mora gave a shout out to Alice Briggs, the owner of Rust, for offering up her store as the collection site.

“We’re really thankful for her for helping us,” Mora said.

Briggs said she was happy to oblige, noting “I’m really excited for this beautiful event.”

The End Period Poverty project is the first project sponsored by the Analy Mental Health Club, which Pina and Mora started last March at the beginning of the epidemic.

“We just thought that it would be really helpful if people had an outlet to talk to people their own age, maybe their friends, or to make some new friends,” as well as to share ideas and spread awareness about mental illness.

They’re hoping people respond to their plea for donations — though it’s harder getting the word out during a pandemic.

For now, the End Period Poverty event is just a one-day event, but the two young women are looking to the future.

“If it really goes well, we may continue to do it more,” Mora said. “We’re also planning more events in the future for different charities.

“We’ve seen so many areas in our community that need help,” Pina said, “and we really want to help.”

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