As a school nurse, I am always looking for ways to support my students and their families. Recently, I was introduced to an organization called “I Support the Girls (ISTG)” that provides essential items, like bras and menstrual hygiene products, to students in under-resourced schools. ISTG also supports women experiencing homelessness, domestic violence and unemployment by providing period products and more! In fact, it was a Moms Demand Action chapter lead that connected us. There are so many people doing amazing work for the safety and well being of communities!
How fortunate I was to meet Dawn Stillwell, the director for the Central/Southern New Jersey chapter of “I Support the Girls.” Dawn is dedicated to distributing period products, hygiene products, bras and underwear to girls who are in need. Through the generosity of this amazing organization, Dawn was able to provide all of my Camden City schools with necessary supplies just as we were quickly running out. In fact, just before we received the much needed delivery, this was a message from one of my colleagues:
Good morning, With 38 days left of school, we are down to our last 15 menstrual pads. Never thought it would have been an issue when we unpacked our supplies in September. We have TONs of panty liners to share if anyone has a need, but we could really use some pads. Willing to pick up! Thank you!
Imagine how excited this school nurse was to receive her shipment! Here is the happy moment:
The mission of “I Support the Girls” is to provide dignity and self-respect to people in need by ensuring that they have access to the products they need to feel clean, comfortable, and confident. Their programs are designed to meet the unique needs of people who are experiencing homelessness or financial insecurity, including those who are displaced by natural disasters or fleeing domestic violence.
One of the things I love about “I Support the Girls” is that they focus on providing essential items that are often overlooked but are critical for people to feel healthy and confident. For example, they collect and distribute new and gently used bras of all sizes, which are one of the most requested but least donated items for people who are experiencing homelessness. They also collect and distribute menstrual hygiene products, which can be expensive and inaccessible for many people who are living in poverty.
But “I Support the Girls” doesn’t just provide essential items. They also have a variety of programs and initiatives that are designed to promote overall health and well-being for people in need. Here are some examples:
“You Can’t Spell Menstrual Health without Mental Health”: This initiative is designed to highlight the critical connection between menstrual health and mental health. By addressing both aspects of women’s health, “I Support the Girls” is helping to promote dignity, self-respect, and overall well-being for people in need.
Disaster relief: When natural disasters strike, “I Support the Girls” is there to provide essential items to people who are displaced or affected by the disaster. They have helped to provide items like bras and menstrual hygiene products to people affected by hurricanes, floods, and other disasters.
Education and advocacy: “I Support the Girls” is committed to promoting education and advocacy around issues related to menstrual health and gender equity. They work to raise awareness about the importance of providing essential items to people in need, and advocate for policies and programs that promote menstrual health and gender equity.
If you’re interested in supporting “I Support the Girls,” there are many ways to get involved. You can donate new or gently used bras, menstrual hygiene products, or other essential items. You can also volunteer at one of their local chapters or affiliates, or help to organize a donation drive in your community. By working together, we can help to ensure that everyone has access to the products they need to feel clean, comfortable, and confident, and promote overall health and well-being for people in need.