Goods 4 Girls

Have any of you seen those new ads by Tampax and Always, the ones where they promote an initiative to give menstrual products to young girls in Africa? Well, I don’t know about you, but the first thing I thought when I saw that was, “Um, nice try, Procter & Gamble, but you’re kinda missing the bigger picture.” I mean, it’s great that they want to help girls out with this difficult time of the month and make sure they stay in school, but is the best way to do that with bleached wads of cotton and disposable plastic? It made me fret, I must say.

But then, my crunchiest friend dropped me a note saying she saw the same ads and decided to do more than just fret about it — she actually started an initiative of her own called Goods 4 Girls (you can see the little poster for it in my sidebar to the right, just click on the image and it’ll take you there). It helps get new cloth menstrual pads, whether handmade or store-bought, to young women in Uganda, who can then reuse them rather than throw them out. It’s such an amazing idea, and I truly admire Deanna for putting so much effort into get it up and running.

So as part of my monthly green giving, I’m going to donate some reusable cloth pads to Goods 4 Girls — and you should, too!

14 Responses to Goods 4 Girls

  1. Thanks, Vanessa! I can’t believe how exciting it is to help out these girls and how much support there is out there.

  2. Lara says:

    Those ads were bothering me for the same reasons. I’m going to post about this in my blog and donate too.

    By the way, I love your blog. It’s full of great ideas.

  3. designonpost says:

    When I saw these ads I thought, why can’t they do what they’ve always done? Women have been menstruating for many, many more years than pads and tampons have been around. I think they can handle themselves without corporate interference. I love the cloth pad idea. I’m going to go check out that website.

  4. Julie says:

    wow vanessa, cudos to you and your friend. it’s great to have a cause you can actually personally DO something for. i will post a link to goods 4 girls on my blog as well. thanks for your efforts to make the world a little better. peace out!

  5. Genevieve says:

    Pardon my ignorance…but what is the water situation in Uganda? Will these young girls have the opportunity to properly clean the cloth pads?

  6. Georgeanna says:

    I was digging through Etsy today and saw a lady who’s selling these reusable pads, and she lives in Canada! (Montreal I believe).

    I should buy/send some to Goods 4 Girls, but perhaps you could let your friend know about this great seamstress. Here’s her Etsy shop: and she has her own website here:

    p.s. Genevieve has a good point, I think (then again, one must pardon my ignorance as well..)

  7. Genevieve – The areas targeted for distribution will have access to water. Uganda has regular rainfall and has access to several extremely large lakes (Lake Victoria being the second largest freshwater lake in the world).

  8. blah says:

    Since they get so much rain, maybe it would be a good idea to get rainbarrels there as well.

    I watched that commercial and it made me upset too. This is what I was afraid of happening…large corporations try to get on the “Save Africa” or “Save the World” bandwagon. I hate to be cynical, but I feel like this is becomeing a large problem. You have companies like Shell Oil having commericals about how much they care for the environment – a statement that I have trouble embracing. It just means that everyone is going to have to become more educated, but unfortunately, many people will listen to a commercial and assume that a company is operating “greenly” simply because they say they are.

  9. Sarah Ivy says:

    This is a terrific idea! I will spread the word.

  10. andsoisigh says:

    I just saw one of these commercials for the first time yesterday and immediately thought that Diva cup or a similar company needs to send there products there, not some company that will generate waste and use up resources. I’m glad someone else thought of taking action as well. Great idea, i’ll keep it in mind…

  11. Rachel says:

    This is a great idea. And it makes me sick how the tampon/pad pushers are using thinly disguised “charity” to open up new markets for themselves. They’re hoping everyone will be so thrilled with the new product it will become a must have, and when the free stuff runs out, Ugandans will find a away to purchase them. Just like drug pushers “The first bag is always free…”

  12. Kassie Hauser says:

    I really like your post, and think Goods 4 Girls is a great idea! I would also recommend to you and your friend to check out It is a $35 menstrual cup that can be reused for 10 years and saves the average woman over $300 in products and waste. It would be a great idea for anyone interested in buying sustainable products for themselves and/or women in Uganda. Just thought you would like to check it out!

    kassie 🙂

  13. kettunainen says:


    rainbarrels seem like a great idea, but you have to consider the adverse effects from malaria from the collected water.


    the Keeper would be fantastic, especially since it’s made from natural rubber and will eventually biodegrade if lost or tossed.

  14. I’m looking into the DivaCup / Keeper option, but there are issues with that (you can read about it on the Goods 4 Girl site).

    Vanessa – I got your donation today! Thanks….

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