By: RACHAEL PITTMAN
For the first two weeks of February, The Feminist Student Union (FSU) asked for students to donate cash and hygiene products to the South Bend Center for the Homeless. The FSU aimed to raise awareness to the plight of many homeless women who are often without access to these necessities.
Dominique Bonilla and Cassandra Castro, co-presidents of FSU, thought up the event. April Lidinsky, director of the women and gender studies program, called this project their “brainchild.”
Lidinsky believes that the drive was an “enormously successful project.”
During these two weeks, specific donation boxes for feminine hygiene products were spread around campus, and the FSU tabled twice a week.
Cash donations totaled $140, and 100 packages of feminine hygiene products were donated.
The money that was raised was used to purchase more hygiene products and pain relievers.
Without these products, some women would be unable to perform basic hygienic tasks, especially if they had to be in public. It can be embarrassing or uncomfortable.
“These women don’t have very much access to feminine hygiene products, which is normal for a homeless shelter,” said Alanna Maybry, a member of FSU.
“These products are in high demand around the country,” she said, “And these products have to be used sparingly. This problem is causing women to feel like they aren’t able to cleanse themselves while on their cycle.”
Other than the funds, Maybry said the community was impacted by awareness of this problem.
“Most of the people we heard from were shocked that these women had limited access to these products,” she said. “We’re more than willing to help.”
FSU’s goal is mainly to “focus on raising awareness about reproductive health throughout the semester,” Maybry said.
Additional donations to South Bend Center for the Homeless are accepted anytime that the shelter’s front desk is open.
Anyone can become involved with FSU’s mission by joining the Feminist Student Union Facebook page, Feminist Student Union-Indiana University South Bend, or attending their meetings on Fridays at 1 p.m.. Other meeting information is available on their Facebook page.