Rachel Ayres | Staff Writer
Whitworth students recently had the chance to give back to their community by donating products such as tampons and condoms.
From Feb. 25 to March 1, Whitworth’s Generation Action club held a reproductive product drive, to benefit the local organization Cup of Cool Water.
According to the group’s website,“Cup of Cool Water is a nonprofit organization in downtown Spokane that walks alongside youth who are homeless on their journey of reconciliation with themselves, God, and society.”
Generation Action chose Cup of Cool Water to fundraise for because of the compatibility of their missions, explained freshman Rachel Wilson, the secretary and treasurer for Generation Action.
“Our goal was to find a local shelter that was inclusive, in line with Generation Action’s mission of inclusivity and access to healthcare and health-care resources, and Cup of Cool Water is such a great organization that really strives to help those who need it: homeless youth,” she said.
Cup of Cool Water does outreach work directly on the streets of Spokane and with drop in centers that supply hot showers, hot meals, and hygiene products.
“[They give] access to the basic things in order to live a normal life,” Wilson said.
The reproductive product drive collected pads, tampons, pregnancy tests and condoms. Buckets were placed in most Residence Halls and at the HUB info desk. Students were encouraged to donate what they could to the cause.
“Anything helps,” Wilson said, “especially knowing that we are directly impacting people from Spokane, which really makes this close to home for us. It is an important way to connect with our Spokane community, because whether or not we live here and this is our home, we are here nine months out of the year.”
Generation Action also chose to fundraise for Cup of Cool Water because of the relatability of youth in Spokane to Whitworth’s students.
“We felt that we would most accurately relate to them,” said senior Jordan Coleman, Generation Action president, “and even students who aren’t involved with Generation Action would also relate and feel inclined to donate to them because, what would life be without tampons?”
Homeless youth face many problems in day to day life, including needing necessary sexual health products.
“One pad or one tampon could change the entire day of a person whereas we just reach into the drawer for another one,” Wilson said. “With this drive, we are trying to destigmatize what the word reproductive means and that it is not an issue of responsibility or of personal character, it is an issue of survival.”
The reproductive products drive is Generation Action’s biggest event for the spring of its first year on campus.
“I am hoping that the club members will continue to make this a yearly thing, whether that is reproductive products, baby products or other things,” Coleman said.
With this drive, Wilson hopes to make the club’s presence more well-known to the study body and destigmatize what the club is about.
“Really, what we are doing is doing our best to serve people,” she said. “In Whitworth’s mission [it says] to serve humanity, and it really helps knowing that they are people directly in your city, where you are at, that could use your help, and are immediately benefitting from your help,” Wilson said.
To learn more about Cup of Cool Water, visit https://www.cupofcoolwater.org/, and to find out more about Whitworth's Generation Action club, follow them on Instagram at @whitworth.generation.action.