CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) – The YWCA in Carlisle is helping girls and young women in need with a pantry stocked with free feminine hygiene products.
The organization started collecting donations for its pad pantry in March but didn’t officially open until August.
“We can work with families to help determine if they need a one time supply if they need regular access,” said Katelynn Edger, interim Executive Director for YWCA Carlisle.
That is a need the YWCA Carlisle wants to bring more attention to and address.
“In a recent Always Confidence & Puberty Survey, it was revealed that nearly one in five girls in the U.S. have either left school early or missed school entirely because they did not have access to period products,” said Edger.
Beyond the products themselves, the pantry represents something much greater.
“We advocate for empowering women and girls,” said Edger.
When local girls brought the issue to their attention, the need for feminine products in middle school bathrooms, they wanted to address that problem foremost.
“I think that gives them a lot of voice and power too, to recognize that they expressed this concern and now there’s something being done about it,” said Mary Hey, school counselor at Wilson Middle School.
“Girls who have said, it can be embarrassing to ask a male teacher, it can be awkward if others hear the request to go to a nurse,” said Ashley Burkett, Community Impact Manager, YWCA Carlisle.
There are now ladies’ products in the bathrooms at Wilson Middle School and St. Patrick’s School with plans to have them at Lamberton Middle School as well.
Amazon and the American Association of University Women donated many of the supplies, but anyone that is looking to help can certainly lend an effort and make a donation.
The pad pantry was paid for with a grant with additional support coming from the contractor of the pantry, Cumberland Design and Building Company, donating as well.