Women unite to fight ‘period poverty’

Michelle Wratten was overwhelmed at the response to her plea for donations of sanitary items – this box was filled in just four days.

An easy and ongoing way to help women who struggle to afford sanitary items every month is the brainchild of Michelle Wrattan of Stanmore Bay.

Last month, after becoming aware of the difficulties many women face in our community with finding enough money for sanitary items, Michelle came up with One for Her. The idea is that when you buy your own tampons, pads or menstrual cups you also buy some for a woman in need.

“I hope it taps into that mindset of giving on a regular basis – ‘one for me, one for someone else’,” Michelle says. “While a need for food or clothing is clear, these items are also necessities, not luxuries, and yet they are expensive. If you have several women in your family and you’re on a tight budget, it’s extremely hard. There are reports of girls shoplifting tampons because they can’t afford to buy them. For some of us, an extra item in the groceries won’t make a lot of difference and it’s a way to support other women.”

The items can be dropped into boxes at collection points around the community (see list below) and Michelle will then pass them onto local organisations – the Salvation Army, Women’s Refuge, HBC Youth Centre, Steps Forward and Orewa College are among the ones involved at present – who will make them available to those in need.

“The school nurse and Youth Centre immediately knew of women who were in need of this service and are very happy to take part,” Michelle says.

Michelle says although she does voluntary work for Love Soup and with her church, she has never instigated a charitable movement like this before.

Via her Facebook page a lot of interest was generated – and collections are also underway in other parts of Auckland and in Tauranga.

Info: look for One for Her on Facebook or email oneforher.nz@gmail.com

Local collection points are: Shine On, 677 Whangaparaoa Rd; Vivo, 9 Florence Ave, Orewa; and Signpost Signs, 18 Forge Rd, Silverdale.

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