Student Activities, Pride Alliance and The Unity Center have created a Period Product Drive. This donation drive is to make feminine products more accessible for those in need. All products are to be donated to the Sojourner House in Providence.
Donations are being accepted all through the month of March in the Student Union lobby and in the Unity Center. The donation drop box in the SU lobby is located by the entry to the stairs, and the Unity Center can be found in the lower part of the Donovan Dining Center. These donated products symbolize the hope and sisterhood that unites all women. Should enough donations be collected, some will also be donated to the Women's Resource Center. Any donations that come after the end of March can be donated to the Greek Life Personal Care Drive April 4 to April 8.
Donations can consist of single items or packages of items given that all donations have not been used in any way. This drive seeks donations of products such as sanitary pads, tampons, menstrual cups and new underwear. The average woman will menstruate once a month, for an average of 35 to 40 years of life. That equates to approximately 3000 days. At any given time, WaterAid says 800 million women and youth worldwide are menstruating. A cis female, and those who may not classify as female but still retain the genitalia, will miss as much as 20% of school and course time due to lack of menstrual supplies. This number represents a reason being solely the lack of hygiene supply and does not account for menstrual pain. Regardless of orientation, society does not normalize free bleeding and mother nature doesn’t always abide by a calendar.
Rhode Island is currently a tampon-tax free state. With help from then Governor Gina Raimondo, Rhode Island lawmakers reintroduced a bill in the House to eliminate the tampon tax. State Representative Edith Ajello (D-Dist. 1, Providence) and State Senator Louis DiPalma (D-Dist. 12, Little Compton, Middletown, Newport and Tiverton) originally filed the bill in 2016, but had no success. The repeal of the tampon tax was officially passed in the FY 2020 budget and was signed into effect on Oct. 1, 2019. Massachusetts' sales tax exemption includes feminine hygiene products, as it considers them medical products. Connecticut eliminated the tampon tax in 2016. It was part of the SB 502 bill and went into effect on July 1, 2018.
For further questions about the Period Drive and Greek Life Personal Care Drive, please contact Casey Smith at (401) 456-2706.