Period Empowerment

Period+Empowerment

Mica Chesshir, Writer and Editor

Allie Milligan hands out one of her kits to a lady at the Salvation Army Social Service Center.

   In our world, mass consumption, immediate satisfaction, and a busy lifestyle tend to sweep under the rug the real and pressing problem of homelessness. In Texarkana, an estimated 1,680 women are homeless and struggling daily to stay on their feet. Responding to this problem, one  of our own has been on the sidelines making a difference in our community. Ali Milligan, a junior and president of the Interact club, has created a charity in Texarkana that provides feminine products to the homeless.

   After volunteering at the Salvation Army for the past three years and going to leadership clubs and camps, she began to feel the call to branch off and do something on her own, putting into effect what she has learned. She chose to help women in need by raising awareness and donations in order for her to assemble feminine product kits because this is something that people don’t really think about when donating, and it is “what they need the most.” Ali said, “I think women are overlooked and not thought about being homeless.”

   To put her plan to action, Ali spoke with a person at the Salvation Army Service Center and immediately went home and began organizing the feminine products that the Service Center had given her. She put them into kits containing an assortment of pads and tampons, and after the Service Center set up a time for her, Ali passed the kits out to women across our community. Ali has handed out these kits twice now, distributing out 75 kits so far. She plans to pass out from anywhere between 500 to 750 kits before graduation, and she hopes to expand to two different homeless shelters.

   These ladies are so appreciative, and they have told Ali their stories and their struggles. Ali hears repeatedly how badly they were in need of these products and how much of a blessing her charity was. Ali said, ¨They were scared before, and they didn’t know how they were going to be able to get these products that they so badly needed.¨ An instance that really stayed with Ali is when she met a woman who had been “homeless for less than a month, had just started, and she didn’t know what to do. She never planned to be homeless, it just happened.” The woman said that Ali’s outreach was a blessing from God and has made one more thing in her life easier. Not only is this charity a gift to these ladies, it is a gift to Ali and anyone who participates. Ali spoke of how it was so rewarding to hear these women’s stories and to know that she has made a difference.

   You can make a difference by either donating pads/tampons or money. Bring donations to the Salvation Army located at J.C. Cabe Memorial on 400 E 4th St. , Texarkana, AR 71854 or Ali Milligan can pick them up at school and take them for you. Bring any of the following: pads, overnight pads, tampons, super tampons, and/or panty liners.

   To contact Ali Milligan, Call: 870-648-0007.