Today, I had an extremely insightful experience at Community Action Ventura County in Oxnard. My friend, Dheekshi Arvind, who works at this amazing place, told me that they were in desperate need for menstrual products, and I was really happy that our organization was able to make a small contribution. This morning, she and I went together and I learned a lot today. This homeless service center is managed by Ninna Castellano, who had been there for about six years. The work she does is absolutely amazing and the center is maintained so well. She had told my friend to show me around and to see the people and the services offered at this center.
When I went back, I met with my friend's coworker who was really excited to see our big box of products that we had brought in. She opened it right away and added it on to the minimal collection of products they had. I saw all kinds of people there, who really have been through some tough times, but the services at Community Action were absolutely amazing and well maintained. There were nice and neat bathrooms and showers as well as a laundry room. They provide many products such as soaps and shampoos and other general care items.
Sadly, homeless service centers like these go unnoticed and there is more demand for homeless housing. Service centers like these are equally as important as homeless housing, since they provide support that gives people a bit of relief. I have visited a couple places like these and they look for community support for donations. As a community, I think it is extremely important for us to help out all homeless services, whether it be housing or a homeless center, and provide them with the best of the best, since they have gone through so much hardship in their lives. When you think about donating to the community, please also consider homeless service centers, Giving them a bottle of shampoo, a can or package of food, a box of pads or tampons, or even money to fund these centers, can be extremely helpful.
This was yet again an eye opening experience for me, making me more and more thankful for what I have and I really want to thank the neighborhood of Rancho Conejo for donating and contributing to this cause. Your help made a small impact on our county and I hope we can grow our organization and expand our horizon in the coming months.
The holidays are a time of giving and this holiday season, I wanted to spread some love in cheer to the community. The inclusive neighborhood of Rancho Conejo Village, helped me organize this drive and it was a great success. The promotion of this drive was unreal! We had WhatsApp groups, neighborhood newsletters, and forums sharing this drive, turning it into an amazingly successful drive! Since this drive, we gained so much support and awareness about period poverty and we have more shelters we were able to contact and spread our cause to. Every day of the drive, we constantly had people drop off products. One person donated a variety of pads, tampons, and liners and gave us 2-3 boxes each! I cannot even explain how grateful I am to have this platform to share and spread awareness about period poverty and the importance of menstrual products. We ended up collecting 1,445 products all together, thanks to your support. I really hope to spread our boundaries and increase awareness state-wide very soon!
When I initiated this program in SoCal, I really thought about how I should approach my first drive, as I was new to leadership and initiating something on my own. I then realized that I wanted to start somewhere where I was comfortable and decided to ask my school choir. Westlake High School Choir is filled with the most inclusive and giving people I have known and I knew they would be open to a new and different drive like this. And with that, I decided to ask my choir director the next day at school. I remember the night before I tried to figure out all kinds of ways I can convince her and make her say yes somehow. I anxiously walked into my teacher’s office the next day only to walk out with an instant yes. Fast forward to a couple weeks later and I had to announce to my whole class about this idea I had. It was a little quiet at first, but the response at the end was overwhelming. Most of all, a group of men, the “Tampon Tenors” as they called themselves, decided to go on a Target run and purchase all of these products for us, which is one of the most empowering things to see. Also, our drive went right through our Fall Choir Concert, where a few audience members also contributed to this cause. In today’s day and age, we are all educated about menstruation and the dangers that can come without proper care. It is one thing to be educated and another thing to act upon, and seeing each and every person, including my choir director participate warmed my heart, and we ended up collecting a total of 1,447 pads and tampons altogether in our first ever California drive.