On the Spot is Diaper Bank of North Carolinas initiative to improve access to period products for women and girls in our community.
Awareness has grown globally about girls and women struggling because they lack period products. Far less recognized is the impact of this issue right in our own community. A significant portion of low-income girls and women in the United States do not have affordable access to the products they need each month.
As with other hygiene products not covered by government programs such as WIC and SNAP (food stamps), women must make difficult trade-offs to cope with the expense of sanitary pads and tampons. They skip rent payments or go without groceries. They use fewer products at the expense of health and hygiene. They substitute by using toilet paper to line their underwear, and then worry about embarrassing accidents.
The inability to afford personal essentials increases emotional stress and stigma. It drives girls and women to miss school, work, or social engagements. And, above all, it challenges their sense of personal dignity.
At Diaper Bank of North Carolina, we believe that dignity is not a privilege.
Women and girls deserve to be able to fully participate in their lives, no matter what time of the month. On the Spot initiative allows existing community partners to offer period products to clients who may also be receiving diapers. Through On the Spot, we also supply Durham Public Schools at the elementary, middle and high school level with pads, tampons and girls underwear so that young women can focus on their learning instead of their basic hygiene. In 2019, we will expand our school-based intervention to Wilmington at our Lower Cape Fear Branch and Winston-Salem at our Greater Triad Branch.
Here’s How You Can Help:
We know that this is something we can tackle together and we know you want to help. Here’s how:
1. Dignity Diva
When you buy period products for yourself, throw in an extra pack for women and girls in your community. NOTE: Pads are requested far more often than tampons. Donate those extra products at one of our Donation Hotspot locations across the region. Or order extra supplies off our Amazon Wishlist and they will come directly to us. That’s it!
2. Throw a Dignity Party
Invite a group of friends – for drinks, a playdate, coffee, book club, wine club, gardening club, any club, whatever – doesn’t matter what you do, just invite people you care about and like. Or just add a Dignity Party to a group you already meet with monthly!
Ask each person to bring a box of tampons or pads (NOTE: pads are in higher demand than tampons).
Commit to meeting with this wonderful group once a month (or on a schedule that works for you – every Dignity Club is different)
Donate the extra products off at one of our Donation Hotspot locations across the region.
You’re helping while hanging out with good friends!
3. Host a Drive for On The Spot
Collecting donations on a larger scale is a great way to spread the word about the need for period products. You can make your drive your own – host it at your office, school, gym; make it a competition to see how many products people can donate; tack your drive onto another event like a party or awareness week. We encourage creativity! Once you decide you want to host a drive, we can help you get started with a drive toolkit. Contact us at Info@ncdiaperbank.org to get started.
4. Monthly Supporter
Make an ongoing automatic donation to On The Spot through our recurring giving program. Donating dollars allows us to get items at a discount through wholesalers and ensures we can stock the items most requested. Head over to our Donate page and subscribe to our sustainers program .
Reference: National study commissioned by the non-profit Feeding America (2013), In Short Supply: American Families Struggle to Secure Everyday Essentials