On Wednesday, February 8, Ruth’s Boutique hit
the road with a new kind of Pop Up Boutique.
Earlier this year we were approached by Eastern Gateway Nursing Students to have a Pop Up Boutique on their campus in order to serve their classmates. Many classmates at the community college have such rigorous requirements that they are not able to work enough to support themselves. Some of the students are single parents. Many are clawing their way out of poverty to a new life through education. These students are in the thick of a very stressful time and need a bit of extra support.
We are always looking for ways to meet needs and so we jumped on it. As a part of their senior project, the nursing students plan to volunteer to run a Pop Up Boutique for the students at the community college.
For those who do not know what Ruth’s Boutique is, here is a summary of our program:
Ruth’s Boutique provides feminine hygiene products to ensure that women and girls have what they need to stay healthy. We also provide other hygiene items and because of the popularity of the program and the requests, have added some items for men and children as well.
Because some of our core values are Beauty, Dignity and Strength, during the Boutique, participants “shop” free of charge for the hygiene items as well as some extras that just make you feel good. The Boutique is an atmosphere that facilitates dignity and honors the participant’s individuality. Thrive 10:10 recently added Lunch and Learn during on- site boutique hours where food is served to allow a place to connect with one another and volunteers. The speakers have included a Psychiatrist, OB GYN Nurse Practitioner and a Financial Advisor who spoke about growing up in the projects in Youngstown and his journey to greater financial freedom. Pop Up Boutiques have taken the program to women’s drug rehab facilities, senior citizen apartments, a farmer’s market and a local community college.
One might wonder why nurses would find this program important.
Here is the reason:
There are women and girls who do not have access to feminine hygiene products.
What does this mean?
They miss work and school - further stretching already strained budgets
They deal with confidence issues which makes for poor mental health
They are at greater risk for infection and skin breakdown
Infection could cause significant health issues, including infertility and skin breakdown increases risk of infection as well
Nurses know that a holistic approach to the person is the way to go. This approach to wellness looks at the whole person and takes into account the mental, spiritual AND physical needs an individual has.
Some people think of Ruth’s Boutique as a nice program that meets a need that is often disregarded, or at the very least, overlooked. These nursing students saw the true goal. Ruth’s Boutique and its components (Pop Ups and Lunch and Learn) meet a need that is real and is truly life-changing. We are honored to serve in this way. Meghan DeGregory, Operations Director