Aug 1st, 2015
Well its been a busy summer, kids so admittedly I never updated this 😦 I first heard about this proposed idea from a person collecting signatures outside of the local post office. She let me know that there was a proposal to privatize the USPS system so that people would need to go pick up their mail from Staples and pay to receive it. Now I dont like change anymore the next person but this doesn’t sound like just “change,” it sounds like a complete overhaul of the postal service. This would be good if it sounded good but it really doesn’t seem to benefit the consumer. Where are our tax dollars going if not to the USPS? I understand there’s less mail with the advent of e-mail but there is still A LOT of mail. The post office has not cut back hours of operation except for their actual offices where people go to ship things etc. But the delivery people still work six days a week, meaning there ARE still packages to be delivered and stamps being bought. A few years ago, Dear Abby wrote about the USPS reminding people that we still have one of the best bargains as far as sending letters etc. In other countries, it cost far more to do so. Perhaps instead of suggesting we move the whole thing to Staples, we could just raise the price of a stamp? #JustAThought
I reposted this from the page in which it appeared, but sadly I see it just posts a link. I will embed the video.
The title is enough of a descriptor, however I should add my own remarks. I love this video so much. I love it for the simple, moving, articulation expressed by the man in it. I love how it speaks to an experience & feelings of sex assault victims regardless of gender. I think its simple to the point & also creative. Bravo.
http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/4/15/more-pads-for-homeless-women-help.htmlI found this piece in Al Jazeera and it was eye opening, and food for thought. I definitely aim to be more mindful when donating to shelters etc. I will strive to remember toiletries and sanitary products.
Donations of women’s hygiene products at a major New York City homeless shelter for the year so far are already five times those for all of 2014, thanks to increased awareness among donors about the enormous obstacles faced by homeless women on their periods as they struggle to stay clean on the streets.
New York’s Care for the Homeless has received five large in-kind donations this year of more than 3,500 pieces of feminine hygiene products, from private individuals and organizations who collected pads, tampons and other sanitary products to help homeless women deal with their periods.
This often overlooked issue has inspired a similar campaign in the United Kingdom, #TheHomelessPeriod, which aims to raise funds to donate sanitary products to shelters and calls on policymakers to provide more products for free.
“We’re blown out of the water for this year,” said Rosanna Montilla, associate at Care for the Homeless, a nonprofit that provides medical care at 25 clinics catering to the homeless in New York City. “We received lots of interest.”
The campaign comes as the city is witnessing historic levels of homelessness. About 60,000 people are homeless in New York City, compared to less than half that number in the 1980s, when the city first started tracking this statistic, according to the Coalition for the Homeless. And more women and their families are living on the streets than ever before. There are more than 3,310 women in the city’s shelters every night, grappling with restricted access to safe sanitary spaces such as showers and bathrooms and limited availability of menstrual products at shelters.
“It’s not one of the items that people automatically think of when they donate toiletries,” Montilla told Al Jazeera in an interview in January. “When you get to specific items like female hygiene products, you have to specifically ask for it.”
When Kendra Parker, one of the five donors and a member of the First Baptist Church of Crown Heights, New York, first read about the lack of menstrual products in the city’s shelters, she rallied colleagues to donate and collected 3,000 tampons, sanitary napkins and liners during a drive at the church in February.
“You think about the plight of the homeless, but you don’t think about hygiene and all the difficulties that [women] run into,” she said.
With few other options, homeless women have reported using rags they wash and re-use during their periods, or stuffing large quantities of toilet paper in their panties when nothing else is available. Maribel Guillet, a two-year resident of a Bronx shelter who said her period typically lasts about 10 days, told Al Jazeera in January that she had trouble working around her shelter’s bathroom restrictions to accommodate her heavy bleeding. “Sometimes the lady’s nice. Other ladies is not,” she said, referring to shelter supervisors. “Some of them won’t work with you.”
A United Nations report also decried the “humiliation” women suffered at having to use the bathroom outside, exposing them to the risk of sexual assault and discomforts of changing their hygiene products when menstruating while homeless.
These concerns are widespread among homeless women across the world and inspired three campaigners in the United Kingdom to launch a petition and blog on March 26 to press Simon Stevens, chief executive of the National Health Services, to allocate funds for free sanitary products to women living in shelters, similar to a program that distributes free condoms to shelter residents. More than 80,000 people have already signed the petition.
“This initiative believes that tampons and towels should be made available through homeless shelters, the same way the government provides condoms,” a campaign statement reads.
The three people behind the petition, Sara Bakhaty, Oliver Frost and Josie Shadden, met as interns at an advertising agency, and put up cardboard signs at busy intersections in London to raise awareness about the particular problems of female homelessness. They read: “For homeless women, period pain is an understatement”; and “Just when you couldn’t feel any lower, your period starts.” The signs include the hashtag #TheHomelessPeriod, which has been used by other activists to launch fundraising campaigns for local shelters.
“We’ve been really inspired by those who have taken it a step further and chose to raise funds or donate themselves,” Bakhaty said via email.
One of those activists, Sarah Wyatt, urged people to donate money to a GoFundMe account to buy menstrual products for women living in shelters. Wyatt, from Arundel, UK, raised $340 in three days, and said that the money “will go a long way to helping women who have to face their period whilst living in an already difficult situation.”
The Democratic party has seen an exciting past few weeks between Hillary Clinton announcing her candidacy for President, followed by Bernie Sanders. I wont lie, I would be very excited to see a woman in office. I think it is long past due and Hillary probably has the best shot of anyone right now. She is a go-getter, shes an experienced Senator, cabinet member of our current President, not to mention shes BEEN IN The White House. She has firsthand observations from inside the White House as well as direct secondhand observations that no other candidate can compete with. She also has a spouse with more than enough experience at the same gig. Win win! Other than his philandering ways, I really liked Bill.
Now Bernie…I really like Bernie too. I love his views and the issues he supports but I will vote for whomever wins the primary because the current frontrunners from the GOP are terrifying (not that I would vote for any of them in all likelihood anyways). I say “whomever wins the primary” with optimism here. The GOP has a history of banding together to push out one major candidate. Whereas us more liberal minded folks can splinter among candidates when there’s not one clear frontrunner…ie the 2000 elections between Bush, Gore & Nader. (*without getting into the ballot controversy) I do not want to see liberal votes split between Sanders & Clinton, leaving a majority of conservatives to vote for their one guy (and lets face it, it will be a male candidate in all likelihood. Sarah Palins VP run was a PR ply. John McCann didn’t pick her for her smarts lets say. There ARE however plenty of smart articulate women in the GOP & I hope they consider running too.
Cross fingers! And lets see where this goes…..
some topics I need to remind myself to write on later…Womens History Month, Hillary Clinton for President, Leelah Alcorn & transgender teens, Sexual Assault Awareness Month. More to come, just reminding myself 🙂
Just yesterday I was horrified to read that hundreds of bodies had been found in Nigeria. These were thought to be those of the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram . Today there is a silver lining with a news piece that more than 700 women and children have been released by Boko Haram. Its not known whether any of them are from the group of schoolgirls that were kidnapped last year, but …heres hoping. Either way its a good thing for those women and children. But, stay tuned….