D211 Post: Conant Service Clubs Collect Hygiene Supplies for Women in Need

            In the weeks before James B. Conant moved to remote learning as a result of COVID-19, service organizations RISE and the Cultural Awareness Club paired up to collect feminine hygiene products in order to donate them to Girls Forward, a Chicago based community of support dedicated to creating and enhancing opportunities for girls who have been displaced globally by conflict and persecution.

            Conant senior Sanjana Rajesh said she was inspired to hold the joint drive after taking a women’s studies class with Social Studies teacher Amy Spizzirri.

            “We were talking about things like the pink tax and other feminine issues,” Rajesh said.  “I told her that we [RISE] had donated to Girls Forward in the past.  When she recommended a feminine product drive, I said, ‘well here’s an organization.”

            Apooorva Bommareddy, a class of 2020 graduate who headed up the Cultural Awareness Club’s participation, said one point of the drive was to create a conversation.

            “The fact that it’s not talked about is an issue,” she said.  “We hopped this would help change the cultural norm.  It was exciting to see the whole school get involved.”

            “We had junior and senior boys who brought in tampons and saying, ‘I didn’t realize how much this cost,’” added Spizzirri.

            Due to the COVID-19 transition to remote learning, the organizers of the club were never able to get an accurate total of how much was donated, though Spizzirri stated that it was, “a minivan full.”

            “Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to count it,” Spizzirri said.  “Once I received permission to come in the school to pick it up, we just had to hurry up and load it into my van.  With the seats down, it was all the way up to my front seat.”

            Girl Forward informed the organizers that their donation would be provided to recent refugees and immigrants in the Chicago area who may be in need.