Gamma Phi Beta Organizes Donation Drive


Morgan Fuerstenberg graphic

Gamma Phi Beta collaborated with The Red Basket Project in a donation drive for feminine hygiene products in Heritage Hall from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 17 through Oct. 21. TRBP addresses the global issue of “period poverty,” meaning that feminine hygiene products are inaccessible to many women and girls due to their price. 

The cost of having a period over a lifetime varies drastically depending on multiple factors, including preferred products, medication and replacement garments. Pandia Health estimates that just the cost of tampons would be $1,733.33 and pads could cost up to $433.33 over a lifetime. Dollars and Sense estimates that over 33 years, a total cost of a period can add up to a minimum of $18,641.60, though this estimate may change depending on multiple factors, like brands and personal use.

Feminine hygiene products are put under a “pink tax,” which is a tax specifically targeting female products compared to their male equivalent. Diana Nelson, Global Advocacy Director of Days for Girls, said that tampons and pads are seen as luxury items instead of a medical necessity.

“We don’t typically think of period products as basic needs, but they are simply necessities, yet their price makes them inaccessible … one in ten college students struggle to purchase period products due to lack of income,” Stephanie Young, Advisor to Pioneer Pantry and Manager of Pioneer Provisions, added.

TRBP was initially introduced by the College of EMS, most notably Women in Stem and a Leadership Team, which disbanded during the pandemic.

Three other campuses have also implemented similar programs to TRBP, though the idea originated in Dubuque, IA. “All of these organizations, including TRBP, strive to bring dignity for students who can’t afford period products and bring awareness to a basic human need,” Young added.

The donation drive raised $82.38. Gamma Phi Beta’s Public Relations Vice President Hannah Ruiz said that TRBP directly relates to their vision statement “to inspire the highest type of womanhood.” 

Gamma Phi Beta’s Philanthropy Chairwoman, Lindsey Albarran, led the donation drive. Gamma Phi Beta reached out to TRBP for the collaboration and was responsible for collecting and distributing the products across campus.

“We recently did a Pioneer Crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for tampons, our most needed item,” Young said. She added that this campaign, in addition to the donation drive held by Gamma Phi Beta, will be able to stock baskets for about a year. 

“TRBP recently was extended into Boebel and now Sesquicentennial Hall restrooms after construction,” Young continued. “Our future goals include extending baskets into more academic and other buildings.  But first, our main goal is to keep a flow of funds and donations that consistently fill currently placed baskets with enough variety of products that meet different needs.”