By Kristin McKee
Poverty is a well-known issue heard all around Chicago. As students studying in the very heart of downtown Chicago, it is too easy to spot individuals sitting on the street asking pedestrians for any help they can give: spare change, food, or even a friendly hello just to be acknowledged. These individuals do not have access to basic necessities because of the costs.
The Sigma Alpha Iota fraternity at Roosevelt decided to help with a new philanthropy project. Students Abigail Grosch, Allison Wang, and Erin McElroy worked together to assemble packages of basic hygiene products and necessities to hand out to homeless individuals near Roosevelt.
“Since homelessness is an apparent issue in Chicago, this will be a good philanthropy work to give back to the community,” SAI student Allison Wang said. “As homeless people, hygiene products are a necessity since they are on the streets; they walk so much and don’t have regular access to showers.”
One aspect that the majority do not bring to mind is how homeless women do not have access to menstrual products such as pads and tampons. In response to this matter, the SAI students made separate packages for males and females where the female packages included menstrual pads.
“For women, menstrual cycles can get messy without the proper feminine hygiene products; which is why we included care packs just for women,” Wang stated.
Sigma Alpha Iota is an all-women professional music fraternity that not only spread their passion through music and build sister bond but also strive to give back to the community through philanthropy work.
One goal they hoped to achieve from these packs is to help the homeless become more approachable to pedestrians.
Wang explains, “Often times, the body odor builds up due to insufficient personal cleansing, and other people walking by on the street will treat them even more differently because of their smell. Hopefully with these hygiene products they will be able to reduce the odor, and keep themselves clean.”