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!

Covid-19 Product Drive for Haiti

Covid-19 Product Drive for House of Hope HaitiAs Covid-19 has upended most of our lives, we all tend to think about those less fortunate. Members of We Gotchya often think of the children at House of Hope, a community school and support network in Williamson Haiti.

Because we supply girls at House of Hope with reusable, cotton menstrual pads, we’ve built an attachment to these children.

We want to continue to support House of Hope with their sanitation needs, especially during this pandemic. So, we’ve added hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes to our list of products we’ll be sending to Haiti.

Maryville Board Game Cafe has been kind enough to continue to keep our donation basket in their cafe, ready to accept donations.

Collection bin for hand sanitizer
The collection bin is in the Green Room, in the back of Maryville Board Game Cafe.

Please consider picking up some extra hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes next time you’re shopping, then drop them off in the bin, located in the back of the cafe. Maryville Board Game Cafe is located at 324 N Main St, Maryville, MO.

Bayo Joakim plans to visit House of Hope in December, and that’s when these donations will reach Haiti. Keep in mind that Bayo will be putting this product in checked luggage, so containers that are “medium” sized are best.


#WhatMatters2020The cornerstone of a just society is equality.

We Gotchya supports equality at all levels: racial equality, gender equality, economic equality. That is why we stand united with peaceful protesters who are elevating their voices to spread a variety of equality-related messages. 

The unjust death of George Floyd at the knee of a police officer has been a grim reminder of the continuing racial inequities in our country. July 2 will be the 56th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act, yet the protections of that act still are not fully afforded to members of the Black community, as well as other historically marginalized racial, ethnic, gender, and religious groups. Members of the Black community continue to experience systemic discrimination at a disproportionate rate from institutional systems, such as education, banking, health care, and public safety. These effects are further compounded by overlapping systems that marginalize groups based on any combination of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, sexuality, or citizenship status.

Enough is enough. 

It’s time to vote for politicians who will work to correct these inequities. Peaceful protests are the first step to raising awareness. We support these protests as we support the Black Lives Matter #WhatMatters2020 effort, which focuses on “galvanizing BLM supporters and allies to the polls in the 2020 U.S Presidential Election to build collective power and ensure candidates are held accountable for the issues that systematically and disproportionately impact Black and under-served communities across the nation.”

#WhatMatters2020  #BlackLivesMatter

That didn’t go as planned!

March 2020 didn’t go as anyone had planned.

For We Gotchya, it was our big fundraising month of the year, given that March is National Women’s History Month. We were building on the momentum of 2019, continuing the drink specials at Maryville’s favorite restaurant, A & G. Sara Tompkins at HyVee built 4 benefit dinners into her calendar, celebrating women every Wednesday of the month.

And then Covid-19 struck. By the middle of March, HyVee’s dining area was closed and A & G was only preparing meals for carryout.

There were immediate conversations around shifting from making feminine pads for Haiti to making face masks for local hospitals and nursing homes. We were slow to organize that effort due to the CDC’s initial reports that cloth face masks would not work against this virus. But We Gotchya sewers sewed away, making their own masks for their friends, families, hospitals and others.

Your own face on a face mask
Put your own face on a face mask — upload your own photo to our template.

(Update: I’m sorry to report that these face masks turned out to be pretty poor quality. I’m keeping the reference here, but removing the links and removing our designs from the Zazzle store.)

Now, we offer these fun and customizable face masks via Zazzle, an on-demand provider of customizable products.

Since it seems everyone will be wearing face masks for months to come, we thought we would offer some fun versions to help you make the most of having to cover up. We make a small percentage from the sale of these face masks, so if you like them, please help us drive traffic to our Fun Face Masks page. We’ll get an additional referral fee if orders come from that page.

We weren’t able to raise any funds in March as we’d planned, but with help from anyone reading this, we could raise some funds through these masks. We raise money to buy feminine products for the campus of Northwest Missouri State University. We hope to expand to the middle school and high school in Maryville, MO.

Check out all of our fun face masks here.