Feminine products are not something that most women think about, unless for whatever reason they don’t have access to them. The sad truth is that there’s girls and women who are unable to purchase feminine products. They have to improvise using toilet paper or other materials.
Two middle school students, one of them not even old enough to be using these products, have started a feminine product drive at the Lincolnton campus of Lincoln Charter School. They chose the month of March to being because it’s Women’s History Month. Jocelyn Ruiz, 12 originally came up with the idea and enlisted fellow classmate, Trinity Morris, 13, to help her.
“I wanted to do it because my grandpa works at Christian Ministry and he told me that one of the things that they needed was feminine products,” Ruiz said. “I thought that with me being a girl, I needed to change that.”
Ruiz does use feminine products and she said it gets embarrassing because the boys in their classes stare at them if they have to take them out of their purses.
“It shouldn’t be a problem because it’s a natural thing,” she said. “I was thinking that there are girls who have to ask their parents for these things, and they may feel embarrassed because their parents don’t have the money to buy them.”
The girls made fliers and did a video. They also stood out at the car rider lane this past week with posters to ask for donations. There are donation boxes at the Lincolnton and Denver campuses of Lincoln Charter, at the Tannery in Lincolnton and they’re looking for other locations to leave donation boxes. The drive will run through March until April 2. All items collected will be donated to Christian Ministry of Lincoln County and the Hesed House of Hope.
Ruiz enlisted Morris because she had experience in a similar endeavor. Even though she still doesn’t need to use feminine products, Morris reached out to school administration to get feminine supplies installed in the girls’ restrooms at the school.
“This was the beginning of sixth grade, and I asked them to put lady products in the bathrooms,” she said. “I was scared I would start my period and I didn’t want to have to ask any male teachers for products because I would be embarrassed.”
Unfortunately, boys in the school went into the girls’ restrooms and vandalized the products that were put in there and the girls are back to square zero on this front. They’re working with their English teacher to get this problem resolved.
Earlier this year, Morris also did a “RACK” or random act of kindness which was required through Lincoln Charter and got donations of personal hygiene items and made goodie bags for the homeless at Hesed House.
“She wanted to do something that nobody else has done,” Ruiz’s mother, Kelly Calderon said. “Women’s health is so important, and I don’t think that we have enough resources for women in our community. Especially homeless and low-income women who need these products. Periods are normal, but it’s still a taboo thing. It breaks my heart; these girls get so embarrassed. It’s a great way for them to get out of their comfort zone and speak.”
The girls’ video can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=Ifba1k_f340&feature=youtu.be
For more information on donating, please contact Kelly Calderon at the Lincolnton campus of Lincoln Charter School at (704) 736-9888.