Every year, Binghamton Metro Doulas hosts a collection drive during the month of March (Women's History Month) for menstrual products, to benefit RISE in Endicott. It's our way to give back to our community and do our part for reproductive health equity.
Menstruating is expensive.
It's estimated that the cost of menstrual products over a lifetime could be as high as $6,000. This is especially true if you have a longer, heavier flow, or if you want to buy "specialty" products (eg: for sports, organic, eco-friendly, etc.). Now add in other items like over-the-counter medication, underwear, heating pads - you get the picture.
It's no wonder that "period poverty" is a real thing that impacts millions of people right here in the US. A recent survey of low-income women found that two-thirds couldn't afford menstrual supplies the previous year. Oftentimes, this results in makeshift solutions using rags, toilet paper, or even diapers. Click here to donate menstrual supplies.
Aren't these called "feminine hygiene" products?
We purposefully use the word "menstrual" in our campaign name.
There are dozens of different coded terms and euphemisms used to describe menstruation, other than the word itself! Unfortunately, it is still taboo to talk about menstruation in our society, even to use the word when describing the products needed for its management!
"Feminine hygiene" was a word coined by the birth control industry, and as eloquently put in this article, "words carry powerful messages, passed down through generations. A century of using feminine hygiene in reference to menstrual care just further discourages self-acceptance and supports negative thinking around the topic of menstruation."
What is RISE?
RISE offers comprehensive domestic violence services to the Greater Binghamton area. According to the CDC, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will experience physical violence by their intimate partner at some point during their lifetimes. And because these necessary products are especially hard to come by for those who live in poverty or have been displaced, RISE is the perfect recipient for these donations. Learn more about them here.
Where can I donate?
We love partnering with local businesses to make it easy for community members to donate.
Check out the drop-off locations we have rallied up for this year!
Thank you for joining us in this community effort!