Senior hosts ‘HER’ drive in La Grange area

Four seniors partner with nonprofit to reduce period poverty

Camile+Buttin+%2721+holds+up+donations+%28photo+courtesy+of+Lucina%29.

Camile Buttin ’21 holds up donations (photo courtesy of Lucina).

Abraham Morales, Reporter

People who menstruate are heavily reliant on access to menstrual products; however, prices for these products continue to increase due to gender-based pricing. This phenomenon is known as the “tampon tax.”

The tampon tax targets “feminine” hygiene products by raising the cost, resulting in inaccessibility for such materials, according to Healthline.com. This lack of easy access to period products is known as “period poverty.” It is often overlooked and neglected; however, due to social media, the fight to decrease period poverty has gained awareness, co-founder of the nonprofit Alexa Mohsenzadeh said. 

Sophia Lucina ‘21, Camille Buttin ‘21, Jayden Fellers-Lamb ‘21 and Gianna Torrisi ‘21, sought to help decrease period poverty in the local community. The lack of awareness about the subject alongside the possibility to help out those in need drove them to host their own drive, Lucina said. They partnered with Her Drive, a nonprofit dedicated to providing bras, menstrual care products and general hygiene products to people in need. 

“We decided that we wanted to conduct our own drive because we hadn’t really had a drive like that around here, and we hadn’t heard about people focusing on period poverty itself,” Lucina said.

In addition to menstrual products, Her Drive also accepts bras, clothing items, baby wipes, diapers, swimsuits, toiletries, hand sanitizer, cosmetics, socks and dental care items. Items can be donated at the drop-off bins located on both campuses; one in the bell tower of North Campus, and one at the main entrance in South Campus. 

The LT Her Drive organizers also offer the opportunity for contact-less pickup from people’s houses for those who choose not to donate at the drop-off bins; however, a form must first be filled out to schedule a time and date. The drive, which has been operating since Dec. 18, 2020, was supposed to end on Jan. 29 but the deadline has been extended until Feb. 28.

“We’ve been overwhelmingly grateful for how many donations we’ve received, and we do want to see if we can continue it [for] a little bit longer,” Buttin said. “We’re still having conversations with the ambassadors about that, but we are going to attempt to extend [the deadline].”

So far, the community has been able to amass over 5,500 period products, 200 bras and 200 toiletry items, all of which will be donated to Deborah’s Place, a women’s homeless shelter in Chicago. 

The founders of the Her Drive, Mohsenzadeh and Jenica Baron, originally hosted their first drive in Chicago. They’ve used social media platforms to spread their message and inspire other leaders to host their own drives in their own communities. Thanks to their tremendous growth on their Instagram and TikTok platform, @her.drive, they’ve been able to provide easier access to feminine care products to people who need it the most. 

“It’s nationwide now in large part due to our consistent presence and promotion on social media,” Mohsenzadeh said.