MONTEREY, Calif. (KION) Two local teens collected donations for Her Drive, a national nonprofit that allows young women to provide people in need with basic necessities and other goods, Sunday.
Lexi Martin and Caitlin Silveira are friends from Pacific Grove High School, whose passion for giving back to their community was inspired by a video on the popular social media site, TikTok.
“We saw girls in their community helping out so we decided it was our turn our community as well,” said Caitlin Silveira, co-founder local chapter of Her Drive.
One issue they’re tackling is called period poverty and menstrual equity. According to Global Citizens, period poverty is defined as the lack of access to sanitary products, menstrual hygiene education, toilets, handwashing facilities, and/or waste management.
“She sent me another TikTok the other day and it was talking about how this woman experienced period poverty of her own… while she was homeless, she learned that women are using tissue, toilet paper that they find in restaurants, trash, anything they can,” said Lexi Martin, co-founder of the local chapter of Her Drive.
On average, a woman is on her menstrual cycle three to seven days a month. Over a lifetime, that’s around six to seven years and for those struggling to make ends meet, the cost of menstrual products can add up.
According to The Huffington Post, a woman go can through 20 tampons per menstrual cycle and on average have 465 periods in her lifetime. This translates to spending a total of $1,773.33.
A bill is in the legislature that would require California public universities, community colleges, and secondary schools to provide free menstrual products on campus. Overall, Lexi and Caitlin feel that this is an issue that needs to be addressed and is starting in their backyard.
“I think that comfort is a really big thing that we take for granted as well and so just helping these women who may not have access to these sorts of things is just something that is needed much more,” said Silveira.
A third drop-off collection sit will be Thursday, July 29th at Pacific Grove High School from 12 to 2 p.m.