Tanisha's Birthday Gift

Date: 12/19/2018

Tanishastill06-(1).jpgTanisha Gilbert, payer contract analyst at Northern Light Health Home Office, is coming up on her twenty-ninth birthday, something this mother of two wasn’t thrilled about. “I'm nearing the 30s stage of my life and decided that instead of a pity party, I’d come up with something better—a way to give back.”
Tanisha’s inspiration came after the birth of her daughter. “I had a bunch of unused, unopened feminine hygiene products that I no longer needed. I said, ‘What am I supposed to do with these? They're expensive. I don't really want to throw them away.’ So, I started investigating and realized that there's a great need for these items among homeless and disadvantaged women, especially in our area, that can use these products.”
 
And just like that, a campaign was born. Tanisha put the call out via a fundraiser page on Facebook in mid-November and soon she was collecting hundreds of boxes of menstrual pads and tampons,
travel-sized wipes, hand sanitizer, and pain relievers. “I've had a lot of response from women and men. Some of the men have said, ‘You know, don't sign me up for tampons,’ but they're more than willing to buy and give hand sanitizer—things that are a little bit more comfortable for them.”
 
Tanisha has been assembling these items into “period packs” which she will give on December 22—her birthday— to Partners for Peace, an organization that provides comprehensive services for people affected by abuse. The organization will help distribute these packs to individuals and other organizations that serve women in need.
 
“As women, when we have our period, it's usually been approached as shameful or something you hide, and it shouldn't be like that,” Tanisha added that her goal with this project is to help preserve for these women—our neighbors and patients—a life with dignity. A mother herself, she can also imagine what it is like for other mothers, with little means, to choose between providing food or clothing for a child or buying items like feminine hygiene products. “They have to make sacrifices, which mothers are more than willing to do, but it must take a toll on their self-esteem and just who they are as a person.”
 
The campaign ends December 22, and she plans to make the donation live on Facebook to give her supporters a chance to see the response to their good deed. “Hopefully it'll be really big. So far, I think I have 50 trash bags full of products in the back of my vehicle right now! It’s awesome.”