LOGAN — Maycee Barrett was scrolling through the social media video app TikTok when she came across a video she thought was interesting: a national organization called Her Drive was asking women around the country to gather female and hygiene supplies for women in need.
“I was just looking into period poverty and I saw the statistics on it and it made me want to do something because I always felt like there wasn’t much I could do,” Barrett said. “I discovered it through social media and it just kind of worked out perfectly.”
Barrett teamed up with two other Utah State University students — Hailey Darrow and Natalie Antonetti — and created several social media graphics asking USU students and Cache Valley community members to donate hygiene supplies such as face masks, lotion, floss, travel-sized items, socks, over-the-counter medications, new and gently-used bras, feminine hygiene products, shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, toothbrushes and toothpaste, disposable razors, toilet paper, diapers and baby wipes, cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer.
The donations will be taken to the Lantern House homeless shelter in Ogden, and Somebody’s Attic and The Family Place in Logan, two nonprofits that support victims of domestic violence and women/children in need.
“It’s been cool because we only have been advertising on social media so I was nervous that if we didnt have some kind of backing from someone else, we wouldn’t have participation,” Darrow said. “Spreading the word just through social media has been really successful, which is cool.”
Both Darrow and Barnett said the national campaign spoke to them because they felt it was particularly important to support marginalized women and women in need, although Cache Valley’s population of women in need may not be as visible as other parts of the country.
“Even though we’re a predominantly white city and state, we still do have marginalized people that can use the support that we have the privilege of being able to give them,” Darrow said. “Access to period products and hygiene products is more difficult for marginalized groups.”
The students estimated they had received about $600 worth of donated items so far, and they will stop collecting items for the drive Thursday.
“For me, when I think about how so many women choose between having to buy food and period products, that was something that just broke my heart,” Barrett said. “There are people here that rely on these resources and being able to help in any way that I could is what I wanted to do.”
Both Barrett and Darrow also said they encourage community members to donate whatever they can, even if donations are small.
“Life is hard enough as it is and I think if you’re able to help others out and do stuff for others that may not have the same resources that you do, you should do it because it really makes a difference for people who need it,” Barrett said. “If you’re in a place that you can help, please help because it really means a lot.”
The students are picking up donations from people’s homes, and those interested may contact them through this google form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScEKFDnOip7xkl1DXGolMnPl7fTJRefoEYnzz18jqntZLMYOw/viewform.