Many teenage girls feel embarrassed about their first period. Personally, I felt everyone would know exactly what I was going to the bathroom. Luckily I had supportive friends who reminded me that having a period was normal.
These days I’m totally comfortable with my monthly cycle to the extent I can even write about it! I’ve tried menstrual cups, reusable pads, a menstrual massage, and pretty much everything else in between.
Although I was once embarrassed about my period, I was always able to afford feminine hygiene products. However some girls aren’t as fortunate.
A school nurse recently had an interaction with a student that made her turn to the internet to ask for help. She wrote:I’m a school nurse in a state that doesn’t provide feminine hygiene products to its students. Everyday I have girls come in needing products.
It’s true that some are just unprepared but SO many of them have told me they feel guilty asking their parents for $5 for tampons.
We have programs for free lunch and we even have a program where we send home food for the weekend.
But nothing to supply these girls with tampons. I asked a girl today what she does at home and she said she uses toilet paper.
I use my own money to buy these girls pads and tampons. Every school nurse I know does. So when you’re sending school supplies drop off a box of tampons and see one grateful nurse!!
Edit – I wanted to share the conversation I had with the particular student mentioned above.
Her – “Hey, um, that time of the month again. Do you have anything?”
Me – “I do, but I’m almost out. You forgot again?”
Her – “No, but I don’t have any at home.”
Me – “Ok. But you really need to get some. If you’ll bring me $5 I’ll pick them up for you.”
(I know this girl pretty well by now. She lives with her dad and has a difficult relationship with him.)
Her – “My dad used quarters to pay for gas this morning. I’m not asking him for $5.”
Me – “Ok sweetheart. I’ll get you a couple boxes for Home. But what do you usually do at home when you start your period?”. Her – “I use toilet paper.”
These girls aren’t too embarrassed or lazy or forgetful, just poor which they can’t help or afford. Most can afford it. Out of 400 menstruating girls maybe 20 have a hard time getting access to pads or tampons. That’s still 20 too many.Thanks to everyone who donates!!!
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