A van full of bras, underwear and menstrual products made stops in Indiana as a part of a multi-state tour. The organization, I Support The Girls, launched the Vangina Tour to raise awareness of the lack of access many women have to essential items.
The average American woman can spend more than $50 a year on menstrual products. The organization works to raise awareness of the lack of access many women have to essential items.
From March 2020 to March 2021, the organization has had a 35 percent increase in requests for products.
Rachael Heger, national affiliate outreach director, helps hand out items to homeless women in downtown Indianapolis, one of the tour’s stops. Heger said she doesn’t limit how much women can choose to take.
“It's just like really helping out women, providing them a little bit of dignity, letting them feel empowered, and, you know, that – it's very expensive,” said Heger. “And it's one of those things that we think that a woman should never have to choose between buying a new bra and a sandwich.”
The group brought hundreds of products to hand out Sunday afternoon. The stop took place during Refuge Place Indy’s daily serving of a hot meal at the Richard G. Lugar Plaza.
Kayla Lee came to volunteer and helped women pick out bras for their size. She said it means a lot to help women get basic needs like underwear and menstrual products.
“These are small things that you know, people that have these things take for granted,” said Lee. “So to be able to help somebody else and feel confident, feel clean, feel good about themselves. I feel like it's a beautiful thing, because everybody should feel beautiful, right?”
The van also stopped in Kokomo and at Camp Atterbury with a drop-off for Afghan refugees.
Heger said while the van may only be stopping through, she lives in Indianapolis and is constantly working to distribute products throughout the state.