Project: Distributing Dignity is a project created and led by a diverse group of High School students who are reaching out to lend a hand and spark change by supplying pads, tampons, and underwear to the students on the Reservation.
Life on the Pine Ridge Reservation is not easy. It is one of the poorest zip codes in the country. The poverty rate is 53% (as opposed to the US average of 15.6%) Teen suicide rate is 150% higher than America as a whole. 85% of Lakota families are affected by alcoholism. The school drop-out rate is over 70%. Hope is a word that does not often come by in this desolate area. Untouched by development, there are no sources of employment and thus no way to make a living. With a per capita income of only $8000, many families need to choose between heating a home or paying for food. …and therefor supplying for a student's monthly menstrual needs is out of the question. Life is hard enough once the monthly cycle (or moon) occurs, but when one does not have proper hygiene items, (as many students on the Reservation do not), they therefore risk embarrassment at school. It is easier to stay home. Staying home means falling behind in school. Many students just give up, and drop out, contributing to the 70% drop-out rate. Many Pine Ridge students feel like they are being punished for something they have no control over. We hope that our assistance will make a difference in their lives, so that they in turn can spark change in their own lives and community.
Won’t you help make that difference?