GREENSBORO — Cassidy Nicholson saw a video about the work of Her Drive on Tic Tok and called her best friend Stella Crooker to say: “Let’s do this!”
Although they had most of their required service hours already completed as students at New Garden Friends School, they decided this was something they could do for their community.
In June 2020, Her Drive, a nonprofit based in Chicago, was launched to support women who lack access to basic hygiene necessities. Her Drive collects new or gently used bras, menstrual care items and general hygiene products for people in need. The nonprofit also wants to empower and educate the next generation of youth leaders to work to eliminate period poverty in their local communities.
Nicholson, 14, and Crooker, 15, were drawn to the Her Drive mission with a focus on women and period products — something they had not really considered previously as a need.
They learned many women do not have enough money to pay for such items and wanted to do something locally to remedy this problem.
They first contacted the two young college women who launched Her Drive and set up an interview with them. When they got the information about how to set up a local Her Drive, they knew it would be a lot of focus and work.
The nonprofit interviewed the teenagers and asked: What is your plan? What kind of resources do you have? How do you plan to collect items?
Where might you donate these products locally?
With some organization and a plan, they set in motion a Her Drive in Greensboro.
Nicholson and Crooker used social media to get the word out and set up donation boxes at their school and around town. They were happily surprised by the enthusiastic response of “older women” as both made arrangements to pick up donated items at a variety of locations. They witnessed the generosity of many members of our community.
They found a friendly collaborator in Partnership Village’s executive director Gin-Reid Hall, who welcomed these donations. Hall said she was delighted the teens were giving of their time and effort in service to others.
In addition to getting some logistical help from Her Drive, Nicholson and Crooker attended weekly Zoom meetings with others in the country doing a Her Drive in their respective communities. They exchanged ideas and posted pictures and found the Her Drive community supportive and kind.
Nicholson and Crooker admitted the project was hard work and yet “pushed” them into new leadership territory. Crooker said she learned how to make phone calls and found more confidence arise with each phone call.
Nicholson said she really pushed herself and saw that she could faithfully execute a project through to completion.
In the end, they collected 250 bras, 4,000 period products and 1,500 other hygiene products. Both said the project was rewarding because they were fulfilling a real need in our community.
Working together on the project also brought them closer as friends.
“Cassidy and Stella are so enthusiastic about what they are doing to rally folks to donate this wonderful variety of much-needed supplies for the Partnership Village community,” Gin-Reid Hall said. “It is such a pleasure to be partnering with them and to see the enthusiasm they have for this helpful and supportive project! I believe they are demonstrating servant leadership for other young people.”
Contact Ruth D. Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.