health

School Nurse Begs Parents To Donate Feminine Hygiene Products For Students Who Can’t Afford Them

by Ileana Paules-Bronet
Ileana is the Editor of Original Content at LittleThings. She grew up in upstate New York and Oregon and now lives in Queens, NY. Ileana graduated from Skidmore College with a degree in sociology. After graduating, she attended the Columbia Publishing Course in New York City, then worked as in marketing at Oxford University Press. Since transitioning to editorial, she has written for sites like BuzzFeed, HuffPost, and Unwritten. She has also worked for local newspapers and magazines in upstate New York. In her free time, you can find Ileana watching Law and Order: SVU, eating ice cream, and spending time with her dog.

When I first got my period, I was so embarrassed about it. I hated having to leave high school classes to go to the bathroom; I thought everyone would know exactly what I was going to do.

Luckily, my friends were very supportive and tried to remind me that having a period was no big deal.

Now, of course, I’m so comfortable with my period — I even write articles about it! I’ve tried menstrual cups, reusable pads, a menstrual massage, and pretty much everything else in between.

Luckily, even though I was embarrassed about my period, I was always able to afford feminine hygiene products. Some girls aren’t as fortunate.

A school nurse recently had an interaction with a student that made her turn to the internet to ask for help.

She shared the story on Reddit, and people everywhere shared their thoughts about the school nurse’s idea.

Photos: Wikimedia / Gsvadds; Reddit / medicalprofessional1

She wrote:

I’m a school nurse in a state that doesn’t provide feminine hygiene products to its students. Everyday I have girls come in needing products.

It’s true that some are just unprepared but SO many of them have told me they feel guilty asking their parents for $5 for tampons.

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We have programs for free lunch and we even have a program where we send home food for the weekend.

But nothing to supply these girls with tampons. I asked a girl today what she does at home and she said she uses toilet paper.

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I use my own money to buy these girls pads and tampons. Every school nurse I know does.

So when you’re sending school supplies drop off a box of tampons and see one grateful nurse!!

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Edit – I wanted to share the conversation I had with the particular student mentioned above.

Her – “Hey, um, that time of the month again. Do you have anything?”

Me – “I do, but I’m almost out. You forgot again?”

Her – “No, but I don’t have any at home.”

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Me – “Ok. But you really need to get some. If you’ll bring me $5 I’ll pick them up for you.”

(I know this girl pretty well by now. She lives with her dad and has a difficult relationship with him.)

Her – “My dad used quarters to pay for gas this morning. I’m not asking him for $5.”

toilet paper

Me – “Ok sweetheart. I’ll get you a couple boxes for Home. But what do you usually do at home when you start your period?”

Her – “I use toilet paper.”

These girls aren’t too embarrassed or lazy or forgetful. They’re poor and they can’t help it.

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The majority of them can afford it. Out of 400 menstruating girls maybe 20 have a hard time getting access to pads or tampons. That’s still 20 too many.

A huge thank you to everyone who goes out and donates!!!

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People were hugely receptive to the nurse’s idea, and so many of them had never even realized this might be an issue.

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A lot of parents didn’t admitted they never noticed how common it was for girls to not be able to afford feminine hygiene products, so they vowed to bring some to their kids’ schools soon.

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What do you think of this nurse’s idea?

If you’d consider donating menstrual products to a local school, please SHARE this article with your friends!