Little Waves of Change to Help Girls in Need

Colleen Coffey is a 17-year-old from Tarrytown. She enjoys playing soccer, hanging out with her dog, Cookie Monster, and is a diehard fan of the EPL and the Welsh National team. She attends Sleepy Hollow High School.

The Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade left me frustrated and saddened. I felt devalued and, to an extent, powerless. In response, I needed to find a way to support and empower women, to somehow communicate to them that their gender doesn’t determine their worth, and to offer them some measurable indication of that fact. 

 

My thought was to develop a project that I could do on a relatively small scale, but that still had the potential to significantly and meaningfully impact the lives of the women benefitting from it, as I believe there is a ripple effect to things, and even little waves of change can eventually generate enough power to create larger waves of change.   

A menstrual hygiene product drive seemed to fit my goals perfectly, as period poverty and menstrual hygiene product insecurity (issues I first learned about when researching my Girl Scout Gold Award project earlier this year) specifically affect women and girls, are tangible problems that directly impact a woman’s day-to-day functioning and are an extremely simple fix. Thus, my idea to coordinate a menstrual hygiene product donation drive to benefit women and girls struggling with these issues locally and throughout the state was born.  

I partnered with the non-profit organization I Support the Girls (ISupporttheGirls.org), a registered 501c3 charity whose mission is to address the issues of gender equity and period poverty by collecting and distributing new, individually sealed menstrual hygiene products to women and girls across the U.S. experiencing domestic violence, homelessness, and impoverishment. I Support the Girls has distributed more than 9.3 million menstrual hygiene products to more than 750,000 women and girls through their network of more than 2,000 social service partners. 

The drive I’m coordinating will benefit women and girls in both the Tarrytown-Sleepy Hollow community and women and girls struggling with domestic violence and homelessness in the Syracuse and Rochester areas. Two-thirds of the products collected will be donated to women and girls within the Tarrytown-Sleepy Hollow community via a local food pantry. The remaining one-third of collected products will be distributed to women and girls living in shelters in upstate New York. 

My drive began on Aug. 10 and will continue through Nov. 30, with a goal of collecting a minimum of 250 packages of new, individually sealed menstrual hygiene products of all types, specifically:

  • Pads (especially overnight pads w/wings) 
  • Tampons  
  • Menstrual cups  
  • Period underwear (new in box only, please) 

Donation boxes are located at:

  • Christ Church/San Marcos – 43 South Broadway, Tarrytown 
  • Tarrytown Village Hall – 1 Depot Plaza 
  • Tarrytown Recreation Center – 240 West Main St., Tarrytown
  • The Reformed Church of the Tarrytowns – 42 North Broadway, Tarrytown

I owe much of the progress I’ve made to the support I’ve received from Tarrytown Village Administrator Richard Slingerland, Mayor Karen Brown, and Assistant Village Administrator Alissa Fasman; Reverend Bill Baker and Dorothee Caulfield of Christ Episcopal Church and San Marcos in Tarrytown, and Lauren McBride and Pastor Jeff Gargano from the Reformed Church of the Tarrytowns. I’m incredibly grateful for all they’ve done, and I do not doubt that I will receive that same level of support from the larger Rivertowns community, as coming together for a cause larger than ourselves is what we’re all about. I could not be prouder or more grateful for that fact. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recommended For You

About the Author: Colleen Coffey