Local women support initiative to provide schools with free feminine care bags

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As a mother of a high school-aged daughter, local fashion boutique owner Toski Covey hates to think of any girl starting womanhood unprepared.

So she is doing something about it.

After seeing a viral post on Facebook about a project to discreetly provide school-aged girls with free feminine hygiene products, Covey decided she liked the idea so much she wanted to make it happen in her own community.

Covey had nine cosmetics bags at home and put them together to donate to Trinity Lutheran High School, where her daughter is a student.

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She made a post on Facebook about the bags and soon had people wanting to give her more of them.

In just two weeks, Covey has collected enough materials to give 110 makeup bags stuffed with tampons, pads, feminine wipes and liners to area schools. The bags and supplies came from her customers, friends, family and complete strangers.

“I was shocked to get this many so quickly,” Covey said while filling the bags Friday with help from friends Sadie Loud and Lyndsay Cain, who both work at Blush and Brush Beauty Bar in downtown Seymour. “I really didn’t expect it to turn into this.”

Many of the bags came from the monthly beauty product subscription service Ipsy.

“There are lots of women who subscribe to Ipsy that get a different bag each month,” Covey said. “No one needs that many makeup bags.”

Others are cosmetic bags that have been purchased at local stores.

Covey said she’s ecstatic so many people have supported the project.

One person who has helped out a lot is Jennifer Snyder of Seymour, who also collected items and volunteered to help with delivering them to the schools, Covey said.

With the first donation, 18 bags will go to Seymour High School, Seymour Middle School, the SMS Sixth Grade Center, Immanuel Lutheran School, Trinity Lutheran High School and St. Ambrose Catholic School.

But Covey doesn’t plan to stop until the care bags are available at all schools, including elementary schools, in the Seymour area.

“There are girls who start earlier, so I think having them at all the elementary schools is a good idea,” she said.

She also hopes to get other women interested in starting the project in Brownstown, Crothersville and Medora.

Covey’s hope is the bags, which come in a variety of pretty and stylish colors and designs, will be made available to girls whenever they need them with no questions asked.

So if a young girl starts her period for the first time at school, she can get a bag with the supplies she needs without being embarrassed about it, Covey said.

Or if a high school girl forgets her supplies at home and doesn’t want to ask a friend or purchase them in the bathroom at school, she can pick up a bag and keep it in her locker, purse or backpack.

“For my daughter, I had made up a bag for when she started and she just kept it with her at school, but I thought, ‘There are probably girls that don’t have that,'” she said. “I can remember it happening to a girl when I was in school, and I still hurt for her.”

Although getting your period is something all girls experience, Covey said there is still such a taboo around the subject that people don’t talk about it and girls aren’t prepared.

The bags also are a way for girls to learn what products they like.

“Every girl is different. Not every girl wants to use a tampon, and they might not know about wipes and liners,” Covey said. “This is a way to have the things they are going to need in a way that is less embarrassing for them.”

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Anyone wanting to support the project by donating cosmetic or Ipsy bags or feminine products such as pads, liners, tampons and feminine wipes can drop them off at Blush and Brush Beauty Bar, 115 W. Second St., Seymour. There is a pink collection tote set up right inside the door on the coffee bar. Monetary donations and coupons, which will be used to purchase products, also are accepted.

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