Across the state, folks experiencing poverty have limited access to hygiene products. So two future doctors are using their free time to fix the issue.
The lack of access to period products affects low-income, incarcerated, or homeless populations. These two women made it their mission to restore dignity back to the underserved areas in the state.
Zoe Sayler, co- affiliate for ND I Support the Girls says, “If you don’t have those basic needs it can be difficult and so we want to make sure that everyone feels empowered in their daily life and that we’re happy we’re a step in that to make sure that can happen.”
Zoe Sayler and Cassie Kambeitz have the heart to help. Last year they found the national organization called I Support the Girls and became the North Dakota Affiliates.
Cassie Kambeitz, co-affiliate for ND I Support the Girls says, “I think it’s important to have the conversation about not everyone is as fortunate as we ourselves have been so kind of having the uncomfortable conversations about people need this stuff and we need to be able to help them.”
Meaning, there are hundreds of folks across the state who can’t afford things personal hygiene products such as period products, tampons, pads, underwear, or bras. Since May 2020, the pair has been collecting those items. So far the duo has done most of the work themselves.
Sayler says, “We’ve been able to do a lot of the drop-offs and drives ourselves, but we’ve had a lot of support from our family and our partners and friends who’ve helped us package. Then we’ve also had some great people from the community who reached out to us and hosted drives.
They collect period products and undergarments for folks experiencing homelessness, hard times or domestic violence.
Kambeitz says, “Different shelters around the area, domestic violence resource centers, we’ve been to the correctional center for the women in New England. Been to halfway houses around the state So far they’ve been able to serve 24 organizations in North Dakota and keep an updated Amazon wish list for all the groups they help. ”
So how do they find time to do it all?
Sayler says, “Weekends, early mornings and late nights, and we’ve done a really great job of
dividing and splitting up the work to drive across the state so if some of us have something
to do we’ll drive it there and then the other person will drive to the other side of the state.
Both soon-to-be doctors say everyone deserves dignity.
Kambeitz said she and Sayler graduate in May to become OBGYN residents. The duo is planning to pass the torch to other medical students to continue their mission. So far, they’ve donated just over 57,000 products since May of last year.
For more information on I Support the Girls North Dakota group and how you can help go here.