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Tampons sold for charity at SMC

Mandi Stirone | Thursday, March 13, 2008

As part of Women’s Appreciation Week (WAW) at Saint Mary’s College, students have the opportunity to purchase sanitary napkins and tampons for a $1 donation to charity, Co-chair of WAW, freshman Karen Borja said.

Senior Adriana Rodriguez, freshman Maricruz Cardenas, and Borja planned the event and began selling the pads and tampons Monday at lunch and dinner outside of the Noble Family Dining Hall in the Student Center Atrium and will continue selling them the week, Borja said.

The donations from the sanitary napkins and tampons sales will be given to Protecting Futures, a project that provides pads to young women in Africa, so that women don’t miss school because of their periods, according to the program’s Web site.

The three organizers of the drive decided it was a worthwhile endeavor after seeing a television commercial for the program, Borja said.

After deciding to take part in the program, Borja, Cardenas and Rodriguez thought of ways to raise money.

They first wanted to put jars around campus for people to donate loose change but then decided they wanted to do something more tangible as well.

“Girls would feel like they were actually making an impact if they got something physical,” Borja said. “It’s more symbolic if you have something than if you’re just making a donation.”

Borja said the drive was something Saint Mary’s students in particular would be able to relate to.

“We all get our periods every month,” she said. “… [This issue] is something women across campus will be able to sympathize with.”

Having feminine products readily available for use is “something we take for granted,” Borja said.

The tampon and sanitary napkin sales are working with the HERO program, a United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA) Campaign which works with Southern African schools, according to the Protecting Futures Web site.

The Web site said the HERO program promotes “an awareness building and fundraising initiative dedicated to providing comprehensive, school-based support to orphans and vulnerable children living in HIV/AIDS affected communities in Africa.”

The donations from the tampon and sanitary napkin drive will be sent directly to the HERO program, Borja said.

Whatever donations Saint Mary’s students make will be matched by the Student Diversity Board (SDB), Borja said. WAW is part of Saint Mary’s celebration and recognition of Women’s History Month in March, she said.

“We’re hoping to get at least $500 so the SDB can match that,” she said.