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Saint Mary’s hosts feminine hygiene product drive for the homeless

| Monday, November 2, 2020

Campus leaders from Resident Life, the Religious Studies Department, Student Activities Board and the Office of Civil and Social Engagement, have come together to create a feminine hygiene product drive for the homeless in the South Bend community, running from Nov. 2-13.

One of the organizers, Rebekah Go, who is the director of the Office of Civil and Social Engagement stated that after a similar successful campaign earlier in the year, numerous students came forward to put together another drive before the end of the semester. 

Another student organizer, junior Hannah Chenoweth, said she is happy to be a part of such a meaningful drive, and she is excited to be able to help fellow women in need. 

“This drive here at Saint Mary’s is one of the many examples of how Saint Mary’s gives back to our community,” Chenoweth said. “As a whole Saint Mary’s prepares us for the world and teaches us how to help people. This drive is a convenient way for students to help even when they are busy with classes.”

Collected donations will be distributed through the Center for the Homeless and Saint Margaret’s House to aid local South Bend homeless women in obtaining items such as deodorant, razors, toothbrushes and other feminine hygiene products.

Residence halls and student clubs and organizations can create a donation box on behalf of themselves if they contact Go at the Office of Civil and Social Engagement. 

The South Bend homeless community has been greatly affected by the COVID pandemic. After police cleared out a homeless encampment on Michigan Street, other homeless camps have formed around the city, with homeless individuals experiencing a lack of sanitation and overcrowded shelters. 

It is estimated there are over 5,600 Indiana Hoosiers currently suffering homelessness, a 3% increase from 2019. Recent initiatives have moved to help house the homeless in the area including apartments for the homeless in the Edison Park neighborhood. In addition, 75 homeless individuals are able to stay in motels as a result of federal grant money St. Joseph County received from the CARES Act.

The Le Man Hall Director Holly Borrero said she sees the drive as a great way to exemplify the Saint Mary’s pillar of justice. 

“We must remember there are a lot of people who aren’t able to access these items during this time,” Borrero said. “It speaks to the spirit of Saint Mary’s college to provide for those in need.”

Donations from students, faculty and staff across the tri-campus community are welcome. Drop off boxes can be found at the Le Man front desk or on the second floor of the Saint Mary’s student center.

Sophomore Morgan Martin, a member of Student Activities Board, encouraged the community to donate in any way that they can in light of all of the problems in the world today. 

“Everyone knows how important it is to support and provide for those struggling right now,” Martin said. “The drive is a great way for everyone to get involved. I’m hoping for a good turn out.”

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