Homeless and Female: It's Different for Girls - 5:14
with Rachael Heger, Director of Affiliate Outreach at Support the Girls
Posted Jul 21, 2017 Expires May 31, 2019
Many women and girls, who find themselves homeless, have to make the choice (each month) between paying for meals and a box of tampons. Being homeless and female is often not thought about in such a light. It is the mission of Support the Girls to restore that dignity and self-respect to thousands of women. STG collects and distributes donations of new/used bras and new, sealed packages of tampons and maxi pads to homeless women and girls across North American and 4 locations worldwide. In the last 12 months, 135,000 bras and 785,000 menstrual hygiene products have been collected and distributed worldwide. Director of Affiliate Outreach at Support the Girls and Hoosier native, Rachael Heger, describes her personal efforts within the organization and how men should be paying attention and getting involved too. *For the month of July, Support the Girls is teaming up with Soma to facilitate large-scale donations in boutiques across the country. To learn more about this initiative, click here Soma and Support the Girls Partnership. Interview recorded on July 12, 2017. Hosted by Taylor Bennett. Part 1 of 1. Read a partial transcript of the interview here: Bennett: Should we call this a human rights issue, the right to have these items Heger: Absolutely, I think it's a matter of dignity. Bennett: Why do you think so Heger: A lot of people think about, as you mentioned, donating food, clothes, coats at winter time...but these items (that are not seen) are often missed when donating. Bennett: Tell me about your current reach right now and what you are trying to do. Heger: We are celebrating our 2nd birthday (in July 2017), we have exploded from the initial donation of 1, 000 bras to now, nationwide we have donated over 135 thousand bras and over 800 thousand menstrual hygiene items across 48 different affiliates and 6 countries. Bennett: What's been the response from those that get these items Heger: They are very happy we are bringing awareness to this so they don't have to choose between a tampon and a sandwich. Bennett: You personally had the chance to meet with folks at Spotify, Omnicom Media Group and a group of fraternity men. How did that go Heger: That was great, they were very polite and they received the message very well. Bennett: Did they have some good questions Heger: One question was why are these items so expensive Why certain tampons are organic and how that worked Bennett: Sometimes these guys are uncomfortable with this when you go to ask them to the store for those items. Heger: Maybe they are uncomfortable about this because it is all about women and I hope talking about Support the Girls is helping to make them more comfortable. Bennett: How did you get involved in this Heger: I had read an article by founder Dana Marlow and with the start of a new year, I wanted to do something good so I put out a call on Facebook for bras and that first call out I got 99 bras. I originally thought to send them to D.C. but then thought we could do something here in Indianapolis. I set a goal of collecting 3,500 bras before turning 35 and met that goal in 88 days; last year I was able to donate 10,000 bras.
Hosted by: Taylor Bennett Produced by: Heartland Newsmakers Team

Other videos hosted By Taylor Bennett

What Indianapolis Needs to Better Fight Food Insecurity

Indianapolis has been ranked the worst city in the nation for access to fresh food. The Patachou Foundation is aware of that fact and is "working hard to change this by providing real food and hands-on education to kids living in these areas." Offering a hands-on approach to fight food insecurity. The foundation send out educated representatives into the community; into school cafeterias and into classrooms. The kids are exposed to nutritional demonstrations and given a wholesome meal, similar to what you eat at the cafe or other Patachou-owned restaurants, like Napolese. Click here for more on The Patachou Foundation. Interview recorded on August 23, 2017. Hosted by Taylor Bennett. Part 1 of 1. Read a partial transcript of the interview here: Bennett: We've highlighted some organizations that are fighting against hunger, is it making a difference so far Feltrop: Absolutely. Those statistics show that, across the nation, food insecurity and access to food is on the minds of policy makers. Bennett: What is the issue in Indiana Feltrop: Well specifically in Central Indiana you have a combination of issues. The reality is that hunger includes access to food. Indianapolis has a huge problem with the layout of the neighborhoods and just the economics of running grocery retail makes it difficult to place, locally, accessible, fresh food options in neighborhoods. Bennett: Does it also mean healthy food Feltrop: Fresh options are more healthy. Statistics do show that when there is a close proximity to a grocery store, the health outcomes of the community members tend to get better. Bennett: What would you like to see as far as making this problem go away What would be the ideal Feltrop: The reason why we are still grappling with this is that there are so many facets to the issue. It's an economic issue; poverty has continued to worsen. The polarizing economy really makes it difficult for families to get out of the cycle of poverty. When you include the health piece high food insecurity lead to negative health outcomes among youth. Indianapolis is ranked poorly when it comes to health in youth. Issues like diabetes and obesity are linked to food insecurity. Then there is a social piece about access to food; it's a neighborhood problem. Policy makers need to get fresh, healthy foods to neighborhoods based on their individual needs. Bennett: A lot of components. Feltrop: What we do at The Patachou Foundation is specifically address childhood hunger and their access to fresh foods. We work with local schools and deliver healthy meals to students facing food insecurity and poverty.
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