THE BLOG
11/20/2012 02:38 pm ET | Updated Jan 20, 2013

Woman Inspired by Tampon Shortage

In the twilight hours of a random Monday morning I suddenly bolted awake. I jostled Boyfriend who peacefully slumbered beside me. Then with my eyes still closed I groggily said to him: "I wanna drive a truck full of supplies to New York for the Sandy victims."

Since Boyfriend is occasionally accustomed to these kind of late night epiphanies, he gently agreed it might be a good idea and that we should discuss it at a normal hour. Pleased to have his full support, I crashed back against my pillow and drifted back to sleep.

The next day, I scanned the Internet making lists of shelters and distribution centers and supplies. The first call I made was to a center in Queens.

After giving me a list of items that she felt were the most important, the lady on the other end of the phone paused and I could sense she was stuck. So I prodded her along.

"It's just..." she said, "Well, every day ladies come up here and they ask for..." her voice lowered to almost a whisper as she said 'tampons,' returning to normal she continued "And we just don't have any. The other day a lady came by and I could only give her five. I just didn't have a whole box to give her."

My shock was, and still is, unrestrained. Tampons! This is America! The land of the free! No woman should have to go without tampons during their time of need! Say it with me: Tampons are a basic human right!

My spirit was buoyed, my determination set, my mission clear. I set out to make our goal a reality. I talked to friends and business contacts, and what happened next was a lovely little surprise: everyone wanted to help out. Store owners offered to host boxes where donors could drop off supplies. Penske donated a big old truck for us to fill. LifeStorage gave us a storage unit. Pinnacle Packaging gave us 50 huge boxes. ZipCar chipped in, donating a van a couple of days a week for pick ups. Even the Girl Scouts got on board!

As I sit here now, less than two weeks from our trip, I am very humbled by all the people who have donated to our little Sandy relief effort. I couldn't be more grateful and it fills me with joy to be able to get on the road and pass along your kindness and care. And to all of you who have slipped in boxes of tampons, you're my heros. From the bottom of my heart, you rock!

Wanna help? We're still collecting items through November 29, 2012, so if you'd like to donate below is a list of items that are desperately needed:

blankets
batteries
flashlights
tampons/maxi pads
toothpaste
toothbrush
soap
shampoo
deodorant
diapers
spray cleaners
garbage bags
brooms
mops
tarps
sponges
goggles
work gloves
coats - children/adults
scarves
hats
gloves/mittens
pets supplies
children's toys
NO GENERAL CLOTHING PLEASE

...and here are the drop off locations throughout the city:

Urba Baby (Lincoln Park)
1117 W. Armitage Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614
773.472.2229 (BABY)

Urba Baby (Wicker Park)
1751 W. Division Street
Chicago, IL 60622
773.278.2229 (BABY)

LifeStorage
1030 W North Ave
Chicago, IL 60642
312.448.7998

Shop 1021
2650 N. Milwaukee Avenue
Chicago, IL 60647
773.235.1021

Building Blocks Toys (Wicker Park)
2130 West Division Street
Chicago
773.235.1888

Bellybum Boutique
4347 North Lincoln Avenue
Chicago, IL 60618
773.868.0944

Little Beans Cafe
1809 West Webster Avenue
Chicago, IL 60614
773.251.1025

Kooky Shop
3738 N Southport
Chicago, IL 60613
312.867.7240

Wishcraft Workshop
2312 W. Roscoe Street
Chicago, IL 60618
773.348.WISH