DELTA TWP, Mich. — A mother and daughter, Melisa and Payton Keck, are putting together feminine hygiene packs and donating them to Waverly East Intermediate School and Waverly High School.
“There’s girls, young ladies that don’t have a mom at home that don’t have the option to have these things," said Melisa Keck. "Or their dads have no idea what to even buy. Or they just don’t have that on hand for them and that’s something that they need.”
So far, they've donated almost 100 kits filled with items like pads, tampons, hair ties, lip gloss and lotions along with a note saying the recipients can bring the kits back to school and they will be refilled.
Waverly East Intermediate has feminine hygiene products in the office, according to LeAnn Dethlefsen, the school's head secretary. The donated kits are an extra bonus.
Keck’s daughter Payton attends Waverly High School and said she has put some of the hygiene packs in the bathrooms.
She wanted to get involved with packing the kits with her mom because,“not everybody has the type of money to just go out and get these products," she said. "And there are other more important things that people need than feminine stuff. Like I know people who just would live off using toilet paper because they didn’t have that extra cash.”
Lysne Tait, the executive director for the non-profit Helping Women Period, said having menstrual products on hand in school is crucial.
“If kids who are menstruating can’t get the products that they need it’s going to take time out of their school day and away from their learning,” she said. She adds that “These products are medical necessities. It’s not something you can turn off. You can’t say, 'It doesn’t work this month I’m not going to buy these products for my family.'"
Keck was inspired to undertake this act of kindness after seeing a Facebook post from her friend Tina Curtis, who's also putting together kits.
“It started probably a month and half two months ago. Me and my friend were sitting down like, 'We’ve got all these Ipsy bags...' So, then it became what can we do with these bags," Curtis said. "My cousin in California is a school nurse and had asked months ago for bags to start these period packs. Tampons, pads, you name it was going in there. So, we said, 'We can do that.'”
Curtis has donated close to 100 bags to Charlotte Middle School and Charlotte High School as well as 20 bags to the little food pantries in Charlotte.
Stephanie Leavitt, a counselor with Charlotte schools, said pads and tampons are a high need for the middle and high school.
“With the economy and the struggles that we’ve had, especially with everything going on, it’s great that we have people in the community that care so much,” said Leavitt.
Many mid-Michigan Schools have emergency menstrual products for students
Students at Holt Public Schools can find free feminine hygiene products in the bathrooms. Superintendent David Hornak said the district was granted free machines for their bathrooms by the organization Helping Women Period.
"This partnership helps us improve attendance rates and lowers the anxiety around where and how to find feminine product in our schools," Hornak.
But the free products aren't always in the bathrooms.
At Grand Ledge High School and Beagle Middle School feminine products are available in the office. Director of communications for the district John Ellsworth tells me students regularly pick those up as needed and that the middle school hands them out in envelopes so it’s discreet.
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