Sisters driven to help other women in need

Rebecca and Katherine Hu collect, donate menstruation products.

Photo courtesy of Rebecca Hu. Rebecca Hu poses with one of the Her Drive donation boxes that she and sister Katherine created.

Bras, diva cups and tampons may not be front of mind when it comes to donating to a charity or shelter, but these critical hygiene items  are no less important than toothpaste and shampoo. 

For that reason, Cherry Hill sisters Rebecca and Katherine Hu are partnering with the national nonprofit Her Drive to collect bras, menstrual care and general hygiene products through July 5. The items will be distributed to local charities.. 

The nonprofit came on Rebecca’s radar in a very 2021 manner; she found out about Her Drive on TikTok. Last fall, she was scrolling through the app when she came upon a video featuring one of Her Drive’s collections. She bookmarked the page as something to keep in mind for the future.

“It spoke to me,” Rebecca said. 

Her Drive is a Chicago-based nonprofit founded in June 2020 to bring people access to basic hygiene necessities. In October 2020, the nonprofit started the Host Your Own Drive Program to encourage people to host drives in their own community, and since then, more than 100 have been hosted.

Rebecca, a rising sophomore at Cherry Hill High School East, said the concept left her intrigued. She, like many, thought about food drives when thinking about donations to the homeless. So she began doing some research on menstruation and menstruation products and found some alarming facts: About 30 states impose a luxury, or pink tax, on menstruation products, and they are not covered by food stamps.

That information startled Rebeecca and inspired her to host a drive of her own with her sister, a rising sophomore at Carnegie Mellon University. This spring, they signed up to host a drive.

The nonprofit hosts weekly meetings with volunteers to guide them on how to set up drop spots and other facets of the collection process. The sisters are getting the word out by making Instagram posts, promoting the drive in local Facebook groups and by hanging up flyers. 

The pair reached out to the Cherry Hill Public Library, whose staff agreed to the facility being a drop spot and even helped the women promote the drive on their social media. 

“We’re grateful to them for being so helpful to us,” Katherine said of the library’s immediate support. 

The sisters also have a drop spot at their church, Cherry Hill Christian Chinese Church; town hall; and the Unitarian Universalist Church, also in Cherry Hill. 

Once the donation is done, the Hu siblings plan to donate the products to Youth Services Inc., a Philadelphia based charity, as well as national nonprofit, I Support the Girls, that will help them coordinate dropoffs of menstrual products at  local shelters. 

The full list of donation items and more information about the drive can be found at herdrivecherryhill.carrd.co.