Free tampons and pads coming to NWMSU campus!

We Gotchya is thrilled to announce that after a 3-year effort, a program is in place to provide free tampons and pads in academic buildings at Northwest Missouri State University!

This program is rolling out during the 2021-22 academic year and this post will be updated as progress is made.

Overview of Program: Thirty-eight product dispensers in women’s restrooms in academic buildings are being converted so that they dispense tampons and pads without coins. The project is being funded by a We Gotchya endowment fund.

No Quarters -- UnlockTheBox

Dispensers: It’s actually pretty simple to turn an old tampon/pad dispenser into a free distribution box! All you have to do is remove a little metal tab, and the nobs turn and dispense without any coins! The box shown here was converted at Northwest last year as a prototype of the free-product program.

The signage on the boxes will be different than this first prototype. When we have photos, we’ll post them here. The new signage will be Northwest branded, not We Gotchya branded, with a list of sponsors that have contributed to the endowment, along with information about Northwest’s Food Pantry, where those in need can get bulk supplies of menstrual products.

Endowment: We Gotchya has established an endowment to cover tampon and pad expenses, virtually forever. Our Phase 1 goal was to reach $34,000 to cover the initial 38 dispensers. Each $10,000 is estimated to provide $440 annually. We estimate keeping 38 dispensers stocked will cost about $1,300 annually.

On Sept. 14, 2021, the Northwest Student Senate approved $22,000 toward the endowment, which stood at $12,000 from initial contributions. This covered our Phase 1 goal!

We plan to continue to build teh endowment so that we can eventually unlock all campus dispensers. To that end, we’ve applied for local grants and we will continue efforts to build the endowment.

If you’d like to contribute to this program, please use this link. In Designation area, click “Other” then write in “We Gotchya”. If you’d like to be named as a sponsor on the stickers, please contact Jacquie Lamer at jplamer@nwmissouri.edu.

We’re back — Meal Deals and Masks!

We Gotchya had its first Hy-Vee Maryville fundraiser on Tuesday, Jan. 19, after taking months of due to the pandemic. It was a small affair with two of us who’ve had Covid and felt comfortable participating.

Hy-Vee was generous enough to offer an exclusive “Multi-Meal Deal Card” that we sold, along with a face mask, for $5. We also sold just the card for $3.

The fundraiser continued with on-campus sales led by DeeDee Idong-Bassey and strongly supported by Amanda Cullin. The efforts raised $228, all of which was spent on replenishing pads and liners in the Bearcat Food Pantry.

Special thanks to Hy-Vee for it’s continued support, and to Barb Pierce for making some of the masks!

Tampon box unlocked in Commons!

We are more than thrilled to have the first tampon and pad dispenser box unlocked at Northwest Missouri State University!

No Quarters -- UnlockTheBox
This dispenser is located in the women’s room in the Commons dining area, on the first floor of the Union.

Thanks to the support of Spencer Martin and the Commons, we are beginning to break menstruation’s taboo and help prevent students from missing class for period-related issues.

Did you know that 41% of students at Northwest Missouri State University miss class due to a period-related issue? Seventy-one percent of those surveyed said they have used We Gotchya free products at least one time, and 29% said they’ve used our free products more than once. (See our complete campus research, conducted by Dr. Deb Toomey‘s Marketing Research class.)

Unexpected periods happen. Students no longer carry quarters. This means tampons and pads are locked in a box when we unexpectedly experience a period. Locking necessary hygiene products is a longstanding problem that most people don’t like to talk about because it’s so personal.

We Gotchya is starting the conversation at Northwest. Will you join us and help us unlock more of these dispensers across campus?

How can you help? Please sign our petition. Please share our social media posts on Twitter and Facebook. Please sponsor a bathroom basket. And if you want to do more, just contact us and we’ll put you to work!

41% of students have missed class because of a period

Research about menstruation is rare, and that’s part of the problem, right? People don’t want to talk about such personal matters, especially when blood is involved.

I admit to being in that camp. I, probably like most people, was raised to never discuss menstruation. But if we don’t discuss it, then it will continue to be a problem that vexes young girls around the world.

Here at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Missouri, we are trying to break the trend of silence. And like anything, understanding the nuances helps. Enter Dr. Deb Toomey’s Marketing Research class. They spent a semester gathering menstruation-related information from students, faculty and staff at our university.

The results confirmed some suspicions, and also revealed some surprises.

For example, we were pretty sure that students miss class because of some menstruation problem, but we weren’t sure how frequently this happens. The class research revealed that 41% of respondents have missed class due to a period-related issues. Forty-one percent!

Keep in mind that some classes only meet once a week, and the semesters are only 15 weeks long. If a student misses one of 15 classes, believe me, they are lost.

We also learned that 82% believe the university should provide tampons and pads for free… just like they provide toilet paper, soap and paper towels. Basic hygiene products don’t seem like too much to request.

We Gotchya believes that tampons and pads should be offered for free on campus, not locked in boxes that, if they are working, require a quarter, which most students don’t carry. If you agree, sign our petition here.

To see the entire research results, visit WeGotchya.org/NWresearch.

30 pounds of sanitizers for Haiti

Yesterday we dropped off about 30 pounds of hand sanitizer products to Bayo for House of Hope Haiti. Bayo hopes to visit Haiti in December, and he’ll be taking as much sanitizer and reusable cotton pads as he can.A HUGE thank you goes to Maryville Board Game Cafe for being our drop-off location, to KXCV-FM (Maryville) for running our PSAs, to Helen Konstantopoulos for managing our publicity, and to ALL OF YOU who support this cause!