Woodhaven High School students collect feminine products, toiletries for the community
WOODHAVEN, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) - For many young teens, that time of the month can come at a surprise, leaving some to feel embarrassed by something they can't control.
The Women of Woodhaven is a student organization designed to advocate for the needs of young women in the community.
For Women's History Month, they're taking on the challenge to collect toiletries and feminine products.
Jaya Meeks is a WOW member who helped organize the effort. She says an extra pair of sweats, fresh underclothes and other menstrual items and go a long way.
"So, we just had a hygiene drive for Women's History Month, and we collect toiletries for women who didn't have access to them or just forgot about them so they could always have a safe space to go to without having to ask somebody," Meeks said. "It can be uncomfortable, and we plan on keeping some for ourselves so our students have everything that they need and then also sharing it to shelters for the people who can't afford it."
Senior Abagail Chwalek says teen girls are often shy to discuss their needs. o She says the effort will normalize the conversation and help teens become more comfortable talking it.
"I've known people that have just had to roll up toilet paper and make the most of what they have but having this they can just go to the bathroom and grab something since we keep it stocked at all times," Chwalek said.
Kristen Garavaglia is a chemistry teacher and the club advisor of WOW.
She says the items will help students get through their school day while feeling confident and at ease.
"For these kids at the school, like your test doesn't get pushed back because you have cramps," Garavaglia said. "You just have to perform as much as anybody else. In spite of all the barriers in the world that are already there for women, we still push through no matter what's going on with our bodies."
And the female advocacy doesn't stop there.
The group also installed a WOW vending machine and created a wall display highlighting the accomplishments of women, in hopes to inspire teen girls to dream big.
"The vending machines, that part of it is more for just raising awareness about our club and you know just a fun little hype item for our club," Garavaglia said. "So, it's just bracelets and stickers and then everyone has like a little highlight of a woman in history."
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