A few seniors on the Hill have taken it upon themselves to solve a growing crisis in this community that, according to them, should be given much more attention: inadequate access to feminine hygiene products.
Seniors Tory Basile, Madison Ackley and Anna Shea have started the Hill’s own edition of Her Drive, a relatively new organization dedicated to providing women all over the country who struggle to pay for hygiene materials with the products they desperately need.
Rather than being sponsored by a club or school organization, this drive had an unusual start. “I found it on TikTok over winter break,” Basile said.
“The information that had been presented online was just really interesting and the whole philosophy, the mission of it, was something that we wanted to be a part of,” Ackley said.
After this stroke of inspiration, the three began work to help the community. “We were really interested in being able to help provide supplies to those in need, and started looking into doing it throughout Indianapolis,” Shea wrote in an email.
With a type of drive that has never really happened here on the Hill, the three had to start from scratch and figure out the best ways to reach their goal. “We’re just doing collection boxes, we have one in the WAC, one in the SLC, and one by the library. In the future we’ve talked about doing pickup days. We’ve talked about having a drop off day (as well),” Basile said.
While a larger and broader version of the drive, taking place beyond the Hill to better serve Indianapolis, won’t take place until later in March, the three are working to make sure every donation has an impact. “All items that we are collecting will be donated to the Julian Center, the Dove Recovery House for Women, and other local shelters where these basic hygiene items are often lacking,” Shea wrote.
The seniors also wanted to note that anyone donating for their service requirements should select Mrs. Shannon Fox ’80 as the moderator when filling out MobileServe.
For these three seniors, Her Drive is more than just collecting hygiene products; it’s about supporting women in this city and supporting Indianapolis as a whole.
“We watched an incredible CBS documentary and it said that in Louisiana, Mardis Gras beads are considered a necessity so they are not taxed. In Texas, cowboy boots are a necessity so they are not taxed. In Wisconsin, gun club memberships are a necessity. However, in all of these states, feminine hygiene products are considered a luxury and are taxed as a luxury,” Ackley said.
These seniors want to make sure that feminine hygiene products are accessible to everyone. “I think it’s important to address period poverty in my community,” Basile said. “It’s a huge problem in Indiana and it’s a huge problem in the whole country.”
The three hope that their mission will have successful results and that they will inspire future generations of students here to carry on the torch.
“I think that the charity as a whole has a lot of potential to work with the younger generations (and) to hopefully spread awareness and inspire change,” Shea wrote. Maybe, with the work of some Irish seniors, inadequate access to feminine hygiene products may soon be a thing of the past.
Shea said, “I chose to be a part of it because it provided an opportunity for me to make an impact in my community through an issue that I have wanted to fight back against for a long time.”