By BROOKE RUDISILL
One simple act of kindness can drastically change the lives of others. In today’s day and age it is common for people to get too caught up in trivial issues.
Millions of people spend countless amounts of hours worrying about social media statuses, keeping up with the latest technology products or questioning whether a dress is either blue and black or white and gold.
As these issues consume the minds of many, it becomes easy to bypass all of the major issues that occur on a day-to-day basis in local communities.
Senior Jocelyn Grayson made it a mission to spend every Alternative Spring Break Trip giving back to those in need, where she worked hand-in-hand with Metropolitan Ministries, an organization that provides hope to families who are in crisis of being homeless or have financial instability.
While there, Grayson served hygiene packs that contained soaps, shampoos and many other products to those in the homeless shelters. A woman approached her and requested tampons and pads for her five young daughters, nieces and herself. Due to a low supply, Grayson could only provide the woman with three tampons and pads for each girl.
“These hygiene packs are meant to last a few months, and any woman knows that three is simply not enough,” said Grayson. “Feminine hygiene products are one of the most needed items at shelters. It’s an issue because these products are such a routine part of life that I think people forget that they are crucial and that they are also expensive.”
It was that moment that sparked the idea in Grayson’s head of Paint My Gown Red. It was clear that the amount of feminine hygiene products were severely lacking in distributions at homeless shelters, not only in Tampa, but all around the nation.
For every donation of cash, products or GoFundMe deposits, Grayson will put one red circular sticker on her cap and gown at graduation this upcoming May. With more than $1,000 already raised, boxes filled to the brim with tampons and pads, Grayson is well on her way toward spreading awareness of this unnoticed issue.
Next Thursday, April 30, Grayson will be holding a Paint Henke Red event in the Gordon and Mary Henke Wing on campus from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Here, students will be able to give donations, receive information about the facilities that the donations will go to, enjoy food, raffles and take pictures in a photo booth.
For anyone who is interested in donating either money or feminine hygiene products such as, pads and tampons, head over to the Center for Student Involvement on the second floor of the Elmore Dinning Commons.
The Paint My Gown Red drive will end on May 16, but Grayson will still gladly accept any GoFundMe donations that are given after the drive is over.
It is students like Grayson who make a change in this world. It only takes one idea or initiative to successfully impact the lives of those who are less fortunate. One small gesture could mean the absolute world to another; one box of tampons or pads could drastically change another’s life.