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California teen launches ‘Tampon Tuesdays’ to collect menstrual items for women in need

With help from The Allstate Foundation and WE, a local high school senior is leading a movement to restore dignity to women in her community.

Carmel High School senior Clementine Chamberlain started tampon drives to help women in her community access important hygiene items.

Over the summer, I helped my school club and nonprofit organization This Club Saves Lives put together backpacks full of school supplies for homeless youth in our community. One item that had been donated were little bags intended for holding pencils and pens. They reminded me of the pouch my mother gave me in the fifth grade to discreetly keep my menstrual pads. This got me thinking about two things: I wondered why we as girls have always been taught to keep our period products hidden away in our shirt sleeves or in cute bags. I also had the realization that these homeless students in our area may be lacking access to tampons and pads, because they are an expensive necessity.

After doing some more research, and learning that tampons and pads are the most needed yet least donated items to homeless shelters, I proposed “Tampon Tuesday” to This Club Saves Lives, and the members were on board with the idea of an ongoing menstrual product drive. The drive quickly turned into a campaign to end the stigma around periods and the way we approach—or rather the way we avoid—the subject as a whole.

 

The first step was educating my classmates and campus staff about this lack of access that low-income girls and homeless women face. At first, students and some teachers were hesitant to approach the subject and a couple teachers didn’t want anything to do with the donation boxes I was passing out. This just made me want to show how important this issue is. Through social media and presentations, I was able to shed light on some shocking stats about this issue.

Girls in the United States can miss up to five days of school per month if their family cannot afford this product. Lobbyists in various states are working to make these products universally available in schools—especially those with a 40 percent or more poverty rate.

 

With support from The Allstate Foundation and the nonprofit WE, students at Carmel High School in California collect tampons and pads for women in need.

Many homeless women who cannot afford these products resort to using socks, rags, or paper towels; on top of that many do not have access to showers or places to wash their clothes. This can lead to infections and it makes it harder for these ladies to get on their feet and feel confident in themselves. This lack of cleanliness is completely stripping them of their dignity, making this a human rights issue.

Not only can you not use food stamps to purchase tampons and pads, these products are subject to sales taxes, whereas other personal care items, like lip balm and dandruff shampoo, are not. People call this the pink tax, touching on the fact that period products are a necessity yet in most states they are taxed as luxuries.

Last month, I presented Tampon Tuesday at the California State Leadership conference at the middle and high school events to over 400 students. The feedback and love I received from students who are passionate about their communities was a great feeling. In September, my Tampon Tuesday project will be recognized at #iCanHelp’s Digital4Good event hosted by Facebook. By continuing to share my message and call more students to action, I hope I can inspire others to find an issue they are passionate about to focus in on in their communities.

Through the use of social media sites, school video bulletins, the support of the WE Movement and The Allstate Foundation, we have been able to grow this important conversation and inform and help community members. So far, we have donated over 10,000 period products to various shelters and outreach programs. While this is an incredible accomplishment, I am just as proud of the way my school is now able to openly talk about tampons. After this year long drive and my involvement in This Club Saves Lives for three years, I am proud of the legacy I will be leaving when I graduate in June—I’m also totally okay with forever being known as “The Tampon Girl.”

Clementine Chamberlain

Clementine Chamberlain

Carmel High School

Clementine Chamberlain is a senior at Carmel High School in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.

 

Clementine and Leigh talked about tampons with the guys on Pub Talk on KRML.

Another successful WEDay trip is in the books!
We kicked off the trip at Patagonia Headquarters in Ventura to learn more about how that company is improving the environment. Then we stopped in Century City for dinner and a boxing class at GloveWork. Leigh met up with Ryan from School of Thought Podcast and recorded a podcast you can checkout later this year.
On Thursday was WE Day! This year hosted by the awesome Neil Patrick Harris. Clementine was interviewed for some WE promotional material and was surprised by Kamaro from Queer Eye on Netflix.
A trip to LA is never complete without an inspiring visit with Evan at Thirst Project (and then a mandatory visit to Milk Jar 🍪😍). For the third eye we volunteered at Baby2Baby, this time in their new warehouse! We were able to finally drop off those blankets we’ve been making all year (thank you to all club members for that!).
On our way back to Carmel High School we stopped at PATH and dropped off the period packs we made during our last #TamponTuessay event sponsored by Allstate   Foundation and then a quick “hike” up to the Griffith Observatory.
Thank you to everyone who made this trip happen! A shout out to our wonderful discovery bus driver Raul, the amazing people at the Courtyard Westside, and all of our chaperones!

WE Day update! We have been given tickets so everyone can go! We will meet at school at 8am on Wednesday, April 24. We will return by 6pm on Friday, April 26. We will be taking a charter bus.
Please join the WE Day remind by texting @2019WEday to 81010
We will be visiting the Patagonia Headquarters, volunteering at Baby2Baby, visiting the Thirst Project offices, and attending WE Day. We also have a few other plans in the works!
There may also be an optional boxing workout at Gloveworx for those of you interested. The cost for the workout is $20. It is REALLY fun and an amazing workout. Check out their website to see it in action. Let me know if you want to do it. If we get enough interest they will set up an intro class for us.
What I need from you as soon as possible:
  • $250 cash or check payable to CHS ASB
  • CUSD form attached
  • Baby2Bbay form attached
  • Complete the Gloveworx online form and let me know if you want to take the boxing class. $20 will be collected later.
  • Select your WE Day lunch order here.
The plan is to have breakfast available at the hotel. I am still working on the hotel logistics but we should be staying at the same hotel as last year, Courtyard by Marriott Westside in Culver City. We will also have lunch catered at WE Day. All other meals will be your responsibility.

WE Day is filmed and you may end up on TV. By walking into the venue you are giving permission for them to possibly use your image on the national broadcast in August.

Link to WE Day forms.

 

CASL Outstanding Leadership Award Application

TCSL 7-6-18-04The mission of This Club Saves Lives is very similar to the CASL mission. Carmel High School students wanting a club where they could perform local and global actions while also qualifying to attend WE Day originally founded the club in 2015. This Bar Saves Lives, a granola bar company who donates a packet of life saving nutrition for every bar they sell, inspired the name of the club. When the club was founded one of the first initiatives was to educate the school on world hunger and followed it up by selling the bars. In 2018 This Club Saves Lives became a recognized non-profit.

The club is very active in the locally community and around Monterey County. As one of the main reasons for the club, the club must perform local community service. Beyond the service initiatives like school supply collecting, socks for the homeless, and Empty Bowls, this year the club will be hosting the first Youth Service Summit open to middle and high school students in Monterey County. The club has also reached out to support other clubs and teams on campus by encouraging them to buy a table to the Thirst Gala so they can give back while enjoying a social activity together. Members of the club have also presented on the club and successful events at the Area D CADA student conference in Salinas.

The club is active within California by connecting with other students and schools through WE Day. The club regularly attended the Celebration of WE, often held at Bellarmine College Prep, and has established a network to learn about activities around the state. The connections on social media are invaluable for supporting each other and finding new ideas. For the first time club officers and members will be attending the CASL student conference in Santa Clara and hope to present at Meet the Pros about the club, #TamponTuesday, and Princess and the Purse. Princess and the Purse was a new event brought to our school by a freshman. She was aware of the project while living in Canada and wanted to bring it to Carmel. Basically people donate new and gently used purses filled with needed items to give to women in need.

This Club Saves Lives has been fortunate to partner with some amazing national and international organizations including WE, Thirst Project, and #ICANHELP. The club attends the yearly WE Day in Los Angeles. Last year the club president was asked to present her “why” onstage at WE Day in front of 16,000 people. The club advisor has spoken at the WE Educator Partner breakfast and has been invited on an educator trip to Ecuador this summer. This summer Thirst Project is hosting their first Youth Summit at Pepperdine and the club has been invited to attend. Through fundraising efforts with the help of Carmel High School students, the club has raised $12,000, enough for one water well in Swaziland. Recently the club has connected with #ICANHELP and have been helping to promote digital for good around the country.

This Club Saves Lives Goals 2018-2019

  • Survey interests of club members
  • Member reflections in December and MayTCSL 7-6-18-04
  • Sock drive with Skate for Change
  • Thirst Gala
  • School supply drive for homeless students in Salinas
  • Valentines for the students and staff
  • Tampon Tuesday education and collection
  • Baking for an at-risk teen center
  • Gleaning in Salinas with Ag Against Hunger.
  • Talent Show for mental health
  • Empty Bowls
  • Increase PR
  • Involvement with #ICANHELP and Digital4Good
  • Support student ideas – even if they aren’t in our club
  • Attend CASL
  • Attend WE Day
  • Celebrate success

CADA/CASL Road Map

Train Your Student Leaders

In the spring officers are elected for the next year. Beside elected, any student can be on the executive board. The executive board meets monthly with the elected officers to plan club events. With so many students attending the regular meetings we felt that executive board meetings would help give direction to our meetings. We want to make sure everyone comes back to our meetings each week so meetings must be meaningful and well planned.

The executive board meets yearly with WE Schools coordinators and Thirst Project representatives to help plan the year. Officers are encouraged to attend school board meetings to share successes and upcoming events.

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Provide Your Students a Voice

The students research local and global issues interesting to them and present ways for students to make a positive impact on the issue. At the start of the year students are invited to brainstorm ideas, specific and broad to work on for the year. If possible, a theme is selected for the year. At the end of each semester students complete a reflection on their participation, the specific hours and projects they’ve worked on, and what more the club could be doing. Issues have included access to menstrual products, county homelessness,world water crisis, mental health, digital leadership, human trafficking, and aid to district families when a bridge collapsed.

Unite Your Campus by Providing Common Experiences
The club hosts a yearly Thirst Gala to bring attention to the world water crisis, raise money for Thirst Project, and provide a social activity to bring students and staff together for an evening. Every February the club cuts out a heart for every student and staff member, writes a note, and hangs it up at school for Valentines Day. Students look forward to searching the school and finding a kind message on this special day. The club looks forward to doing something nice for the entire school.

Use Traditions to Create Pride and Spirit
Similar to the previous question, This Club Saves Lives created two traditions the first year of existence, Thirst Gala and Valentines. These activities have created pride and spirit in the entire school. Within the club we attend WE Day in Los Angeles every year. During the trip we spend time volunteering at Baby2Baby and Thirst Project, and visiting businesses making a positive social impact such as This Bar Saves Lives and Patagonia. The trip goes beyond just attending WE Day. We spend a lot of timing making it a meaningful experience, giving back to the Los Angeles community but also learning about possible career opportunities and ways to sustainably give back to humanity.

Promote Achievement

To encourage participation in our club meetings and events we offer a trip to Los IMG_9419Angeles to celebrate their achievements at WE Day. Students apply to attend WE Day by describing their participation in the club, their favorite club activity/event, and what they hope to gain from attending the trip. Attendance is taken at every meeting and event to help in the selection of students attending class. Depending on the amount of tickets we receive we may need to select the most involved students but we try to take as many students as possible to inspire a commitment to service in more students.

Offer Safe, Inclusive Social Opportunities

The club offers a variety of activities to appeal to a variety of people and is open to all Carmel High School students. At the start of the year we survey our club members to gauge their interest in specific causes and any specific activities/events they want to lead or work during the upcoming school year. Any member is welcome to bring forward a new idea and ask for club support to complete their project. Our members work to provide a variety of activities for the members at every club meeting and a few school inclusive activities throughout the year. It is important that our club supports other school service events promoted by clubs, individual students, and the entire school.

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Encourage a Culture of Service

This Club Saves Lives is a student club at Carmel High School. The club was founded in 2015 by students wanting a service club where they could organize and perform local Youth Services Summit-2and global actions without the direction of a national organization while qualifying to attend WE Day. The club has helped inspire other clubs and individuals on campus to perform more community service. The Mock Trial team now performs a service project during every over night trip. The club has created weekly projects for club members but also projects the entire school can get involved in. This February the club will be hosting the first Youth Service Summit for middle and high school students in Monterey County.

Honor Diversity

Everyone is invited and respected in our club. It is a safe place for anyone willing to be compassionate towards others. While the club is not religiously associated, we have toured amazing organizations and learned how religious organizations support their communities. We invite local organizations to speak to our club about their changemaker initiatives to inspire our students to individually or as a club to support a diverse group of organizations from homeless youth, human trafficking, the ocean and environment, and more.

Communicate Clearly

IMG_2697.JPGOur club uses Remind each week, and Instagram (@thisclubsaveslives) and Twitter (@thisclubsaves) on a nearly daily basis. Our club has a website (www.thisclubsaveslives.org) mostly to keep an accurate record of the events we have done both to celebrate and also give steps to recreate again in the future. One of the main club initiatives this year was #TamponTuesday. Every Tuesday on the school video bulletin and the club social media, a fact about access to menstrual products is posted to continue a year-long discussion about the issue in schools, in California, and around the nation. This year two club members have been attending #Digital4Good and #ICANHELP events and meetings to increase their digital leadership and connect with other students using digital for good.

Concentrate on Character Education

The Club Saves Lives attracts students with stellar character. Their commitment to the IMG_2192club is completely on their own. We make it something people want to be involved in but it is not for everyone. Students are encouraged to be active in their classes and community and to be positive representative of This Club Saves Lives by spreading awareness for the initiatives and activities the club is involved in.

Create Connections

The club attracts all genders, races, religions, grades, cliques, etc. The only requirement for a cause is that it sparks a passion from a club member and other members want to work on that initiative. We have successfully made connections in the community supporting other non-profits as well as community members supporting us. We are a club that attracts many new students because it is a large group of welcoming students with one driving passion, to make a positive impact in the world. Many students come to their first meeting because of a friend but most stay because they like being around caring, compassionate students.

 

Links to letters: (coming soon)

  • President
  • Secretary
  • Superintendent

Our club officers, Ishika, Clementine, and Aminah made an appearance on the Tuesday Carmel High School video bulletin to talk about #TamponTuesday.

Check it out here at 1:58.

 

The WE Day application is available now! The application is ONLY for This Club Saves Lives. Please make a copy, fill it out online, and then get the appropriate signatures. Application is due January 31. We do not know how many students we can take at this point but priority will be given to seniors and those most involved in the club.

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