Now that we’ve had a chance catch to quell the panic attacks and mop up all the puddles of perspiration, here’s an update on our tampon donations to women’s shelters. In a word: Whoa! After Kendra posted about our program, the viral nature of the internet took it and ran with it like there was no tomorrow. Our little initiative became a big giant tampon-breathing monster. Budgets were crushed. Hair was lost. Tampons were virtually hurled from coast to coast. Here’s how our internal newsletter, Inner Piece, reports the chain of events in this week’s edition:
Last summer, SVG launched Tampontification.com , encouraging our friends nationwide to get real about menstruation. SVG got real, too. We’d realized that women’s shelters in the U.S. go through thousands of tampons and pads monthly, and while agencies generally assist with everyday necessities such as toilet paper, diapers, and clothing, this most basic need is often overlooked.
Many of us take our monthly trips down the feminine care aisle for granted, but for women in shelters, a box of tampons is five dollars they can’t spare. Solution: virtual donations of our eco-friendly chlorine-free organic cotton fem-care to local shelters, with an emphasis on volunteer opportunities.
Our mission fairies hit the road several months later, delivering product and our message from Seattle to San Fran and all points in between. That message struck a chord with women across the nation~a slow burn, that months later, is spreading like wildfire!
Before long, e-mails like this one began crowding our IN box:
I've received an email below regarding seventh generation donating hygiene products to women's shelters. The email urges you to click the link and the operation is called "tamponification"…is this for real? I've looked at your website but can find nothing that remotely resembles such a campaign. If it's true, great, but I'd like to know for sure before I click the link.
The stats speak volumes: tampontification.com logged 131,181 visitors in a single day ~ that's more visitors in one day than we get in two months on seventhgeneration.com. In one week’s time, hits topped out at 657,213 (compared to 21,409 visitors on seventhgeneration.com during the same time frame). By March 13th, donations had skyrocketed from 30,000 to 675,000--prompting more emails and calls to SVG requesting confirmation that the initiative wasn't a hoax. In fact, we heard from snopes.com, the web's premier urban legend destination—where tampontification.com landed on their list of the 25 hottest legends Yes, as Snopes reports, we’ve temporarily suspended the DONATE function while a cross-departmental team considers how best to distribute product and leverage interest in the initiative.
There’s been a lot of buzz, but we’re particularly proud of two related articles worth checking out. We loved the Hartford Courant’s take on the program, and it was especially gratifying to know that tampontification was one reason SVG was mentioned alongside Starbucks/Microsoft and Ben & Jerry's in this article about corporate responsibility!
As Kendra noted in her March 8th posting on the IP Blog, "strangers are talking to each other about a common problem and are being proactive together. It is inspiring to see this kind of interaction among bloggers, and who knows what else we can accomplish!"