How I Organized Community Drive for Sanitary Napkins ?

Fundraising is an important way to get people to engage and collaborate for the betterment of the community! They help provide for people in need, while also encouraging others to get involved in community service. Through my journey of setting up this fundraiser, creating the flyer, and reaching out to people about the drive, I learned a lot. However, the main thing I learned was that communication is key. 

I started this fundraiser in hopes of bringing the community together to contribute to women in need of hygiene items. Women’s hygiene and menstrual cycles are not talked about enough, and I strongly believed that conducting this fundraiser would shed some light on that topic. Getting substantial donations for this fundraiser would be the perfect way to get people to help others, while also opening up much-needed conversations around women’s hygiene. Ultimately, I hoped to spark an interest in people who aren’t educated on this topic to learn more about it.

COVID-19 (aka Corona) is a deadly virus that has been spreading around the world like wildfire. The virus started out of nowhere and forced the government to push us into quarantine as a safety precaution. Since the whole outbreak was so unexpected and since people weren’t certain on how long quarantine would last, everyone decided to 

empty out all of the stores that contained everyday life essentials. In this attempt to prepare for quarantine, almost all stores ran out of feminine hygiene product stocks. Also, since people were also shopping for essentials online, it became a hassle for physical stores to order their product stocks. This delayed even more products from being shipped into those stores. 

Aside from that, another reason why these products are not always easy for people to buy is that these products can be expensive. Also, according to www.americanprogress.org, when families come to the US to get settled, are granted asylums, or when women are released from detention centers, they are not provided with any women’s hygiene products. To be more specific, these are the pricing for these products in the USA: 

Credit: By “Bloodheart” on Pinterest

These costs solely apply to one woman and exclude all of the other products that women usually purchase during their cycle, such as, liners, absorbencies, and extra food they might purchase due to period cravings. As it can be seen, feminine hygiene products being sold out in combination with them possibly being even more expensive now due to a decrease in stock makes it close to impossible for females to get their hands on these essentials.

My fundraiser goal was to collect as many new and packaged sanitary napkins as I could from others and deliver them to Casa Freehold. I started by coming up with all of the steps I would have to complete in order to ensure that this drive would be successful. These are the steps I took:

  1. Create a flyer 
  2. Send the flyer to family and friends within my community
  3. Collect the donations and deliver them to Casa Freehold

I learned a lot of things during and after I conducted this fundraiser. I for one understood that communication is key. Not only was communication important when explaining to people about this fundraiser and helping them understand how they can contribute, but communication also came into play when I had to talk to some of the adult leaders and ambassadors of the Global challenge, Aditi and Priti, about my flyer. When I created the draft version of my flyer, it was very unengaging, and the information was all over the place. That’s when Aditi and Priti reached out to me and pointed out the changes that I had to make in order to make the flyer seem more appealing. I also took a look at Riya, another Global Challenge Ambassador’s flyer to get an idea of how to better my flyer. Then, I had a meeting with Aditi, to finalize the flyer. Without a doubt, if I had not communicated with Priti and Aditi, I would not have been able to get multiple perspectives on my flyer. I also would not have been able to edit my flyer to my highest potential.

After that, I shared an image of the flyer through Snapchat and Whatsapp group chats where my family, friends, and other community members could view it. Then, whoever wanted to donate, reached out to me separately and we scheduled a time and date for when they would drop off the donations. Finally, after collecting all of the donations, my mom dropped them off at Casa Freehold over the weekend.

At the end of the day, throughout this whole Sanitary Napkin Fundraiser Journey, I gained a lot of knowledge about how to create media that catches people’s eyes, how to be concise, how to communicate with others, and how to set up a fundraising drive. I felt as though this was a great way to give back to the community and inspire others to create their own fundraiser! 

[By Vennela Gedipudi, is Global Awareness Ambassador from New Jersey]

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