PITTSBURG — Throughout the month of February the Southeast Kansas Chapter of the National Organization for Women (SEK NOW) will collect feminine hygiene products and in March will host an event to collect more menstrual products.

Items collected during the February drive will be given to Wesley House, which assists people who are homeless in the Pittsburg area. According to a release from SEK NOW, homeless women often lack access to basic necessities and shelters and outreach programs frequently state menstrual products are among the most requested items by the individuals they serve.

Many people do not donate menstrual products because they aren’t aware of the need.

Donated products will also be given to Pittsburg Community Schools and Safehouse Crisis Center, which provides emergency shelter and advocacy for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

“Many times when clients enter into shelter, they have fled with just the clothes on their backs,” Safehouse Program Director Brooke Powell said in the release. “By providing the key necessities to them while in shelter, specifically menstrual hygiene products, we are eliminating one more stressor on their plate. The support from SEK NOW and their menstrual product drive has continuously been so impactful to the female clients we serve at Safehouse.”

This is the third year SEK NOW has organized a menstrual product donation drive. In 2019, SEK NOW collected approximately 16,500 menstrual products.

“Last year’s event was a huge success,” SEK NOW Co-coordinator Ashley Caldwell-Wetzel said in the release. “We’re hoping this year’s event is even bigger. Many women have to go without these necessities because they have other expenses to worry about, like food, shelter and seasonally appropriate clothing for themselves and their families. This product drive helps us ease the burden on these women and their families so that they can focus their expenditures on other things they and their families need.”

Donated products can be dropped off at: Root Coffeehouse, 402 N. Broadway Suite A; Looking Glass Salon, 106 W. 6th Street; TOAST, 401 N. Broadway, Suite D; and Dillons, 2600 N. Broadway Street.

SEK NOW is also accepting donations of money, which will be used to buy menstrual products. Monetary donations can be sent through PayPal to southeastksnow@gmail.com, SquareCash to southeastksnow@gmail.com and SEK NOW, PO Box 354, Pittsburg, Kansas 66762.

SEK NOW will also host an event called the “Bloody Good Event” on March 1 at TJ Lelands to celebrate the collection of the donated menstrual products as part of the Bloody Good Cause fundraiser.

The event will feature drink specials on Bloody Marys and Bloody Marias. Music will be provided by Deadeye.

Originally formed in Pittsburg, Deadeye is a quartet of women from unique musical backgrounds playing down-home jams that blend bluegrass, rock, folk, and country.

“The ladies of Deadeye believe it is important to celebrate good hearts coming together to lend their time and resources in helping women,” band member Megan McCoy said in the release. “It is our privilege to be asked back for the third year now to throw down a show for all of the rock stars that made this happen!”

There is a $5 cover charge to attend, but it will be waived for attendees donating a menstrual product at the door. Doors open at 6 p.m. and music will start at 6:30 p.m.