Nonprofit helps fulfill basic need for women, girls in need with 'tampon tree'

Fairfax-based nonprofit helps fulfill basic need for women, girls in need with 'tampon tree' (Jay Korff/ABC7)

There’s nothing unusual about a Christmas tree in an office lobby on University Drive in Fairfax, Virginia, or that the tree is part of a collection drive for those in need.

“Let’s do something unique and really fulfill a basic need," said Holly Seibold.

It’s what’s on and under this tree that’s garnering nationwide attention for Seibold’s non-profit BRAWS, which stands for Bringing Resources to Aid Women's Shelters.

BRAWS' mission is to bring dignity and empowerment to women and girls living in shelters by providing personally fitted undergarments as well as menstrual products.

“This is the tampon tree," said Seibold.

You heard right —"The Tampon Tree." While one can find humor here, the gifts encircling the tree will help women facing a serious challenge in this country.

“You have to make these decisions. Should I have food or should I get pads or tampons? And usually the food comes first," said Seibold.

Seibold’s group distributes menstrual supplies, bras and underwear to dozens of shelters and schools throughout the region, providing independence and economic opportunity to women and their daughters.

"If you have three daughters and you are still menstruating yourself that’s four boxes of product a month with average 10 dollars a box, that’s 40 dollars. No, they can’t afford it," said Seibold.

This drive, fueled by a creative social media campaign, has succeeded beyond imagination. They’ve collected in only a few weeks nearly 10,000 tampons, 15,000 pads and liners and hundreds of undergarments.

"People then started sending items using an Amazon wish list from all around the world we’ve been receiving items," said Seibold.

The Tampon Tree’s collection drive continues until New Year’s Day at 4010 University Drive in Fairfax in the lobby of the TRR Group.

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