This Texas Teacher Helps Make Her Students’ Menstrual Cycles A Little Easier


Remembering what it’s like to go through this phase herself, DeFrance started thinking about ways to make it easier for her students, she told CNN.

“I want to provide them with what they need, whether it’s a pencil or a stamp,” DeFrance said.

“A lot of these college students go home and are parents to their siblings, and maybe can’t go to the store that day,” she continued. “Or, they can’t afford the pad or tampon that would be best for them, or maybe they don’t have a good relationship with their parents.”

Her school only provides one type of pad, DeFrance said, so she started buying pads and tampons to give her students more options. She quickly became the go-to teacher for all things menstruation.
But her new initiative came at a cost: DeFrance says she found herself spending more than $100 a month on feminine products.
In January, she decided to post her Amazon wishlist, full of menstrual products, on her neighborhood Nextdoor page.

A few weeks later, the boxes started pouring in, filling her porch. Sometimes the postmen came twice a day to drop off parcels.

“I thought two or three boxes would come,” DeFrance said. “My community has blown me away with the support they have given me.”

DeFrance has since tried to keep track but says she stopped counting after 300 boxes. She estimates that over 4,000 boxes of pads and over 3,000 boxes of tampons have been donated so far.

Products aren’t the only thing she’s received: comments and messages from single dads and other teachers have also filled her inbox.

Kylie has created "pad bags"  for students, lots of products suitable for every girl.

The fathers have expressed their gratitude to him and are grateful that their daughters have a teacher who is willing to help them, DeFrance said.

The students are equally grateful. Most even became more comfortable talking to her about their needs as they got to know each other, she said.

The abundance of donations has given DeFrance the opportunity to provide other seventh and eighth grade teachers at her school with their own stash of student supplies — which she calls a “vintage box.”

Months later, support isn’t slowing down, DeFrance said; she has products shipped to her house every day.

Its goal is to build a “menstruation station” in the school toilets so that all students can more easily access it for supplies.


cnn

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