CHAMPAIGN, Ill., (WCIA) — Period products are a necessity for many, but they’re not always easy to get.
The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District is trying to change that. Last week, their donation supply was low, but not anymore. They had to bring in an extra shelving unit and table for the increase in donations.
Anyone can go to the CUPHD building and help themselves, but the products are also donated to a dozen area organizations.
A few of those groups often work with children and young adults. One of them said they want to create a comfortable space with accessible health products.
“This is self-serve. You go into the bathroom, we have the containers, and you can take what you need,” Heather Britsky, recreation office manager with the Urbana Park District, said.
She’s thankful for CUPHD.
“They have donated all of the products that we use at all of our facilities,” Britsky added.
She’s talking about pads and tampons.
“These products are not cheap,” Alyx McElfresh with CUPHD said. “They are something that an individual needs on a monthly basis.”
McElfresh wants to make sure everyone has access to them.
“There are individuals who have to decide between buying diapers or buying tampons or pads,” she said.
For the past year, she’s been working to make that decision a little easier for people. Last week, CUPHD only had about 1,000 products.
“That was pretty low, that shelf was looking very bare,” McElfresh said.
But after asking for the community’s help, their supply exploded. Now, they have 13,000 products lining their shelves. That means they can help more people.
Britsky said it’s especially important for younger girls who aren’t used to their body changing.
McElfresh wants to keep collecting and helping out.
“Those products are there in the bathroom, they’re able to take what they need and hopefully that can help alleviate some of that stress,” she said.
Britsky wants to break the stigma, and let people know that it’s natural.
If you want to donate, you can drop products off at the CUPHD building. You can also buy products on Amazon for the district. If you need the products yourself, you can stop by their building in Champaign at 201 W. Kenyon Drive.