‘Anything helps:’ Kennewick women’s clinic sends 2,600+ feminine hygiene kits to Ukrainian refugees

KENNEWICK, Wash. — New U Women’s Clinic and Aesthetics Doctor Rachel Fidino is on a mission to help Ukrainian women fleeing to Poland.

Her nonprofit, the Healing Hands Project, has a mission to help women improve menstrual health and provide them with access to necessary products in order to maintain their basic human rights.

So when she heard about the news about what was happening abroad, she knew she wanted to make a difference.

“The Healing Hands Project, when it was founded… our goal is really to serve not only our state but around the world,” Dr. Fidino said. “I’m a mother as well and I honestly couldn’t imagine what they’re currently going through and so for me, it’s like
just a little bit that we can try to help with.”

The organization is packing feminine hygiene kits for refugees, filled with “5 regular flow tampons, 5 heavy flow tampons, 10 pads, the V-Booklet, new underwear, Pamprin (for cramps), a hot pad, hand sanitizer, disposable wipes, and a biodegradable disposable bag.”

Around 2,600 kits have been shipped and almost 2,000 more are getting ready to be donated.

“It’s very time-sensitive. We don’t know how long we’re going to be able to cross the border and get the products
to the women that need them the most,” Dr. Fidino said. “It’s definitely a need that we just don’t even think about.”

The HHP is also working with the International Medical Corps, a global first responder that’s helped dozens of countries since 1984, giving almost $4 billion dollars worth of aid to millions of people.

Dr. Fidino said when she contacted IMC, the number one need “was feminine hygiene products.”

“When you’re displaced from your home, you have to get out fast, especially if it’s a conflict situation and shelter
falling around you, so you might not take all the things that you need in your everyday life,” said Director of Global Communications Todd Bernhardt. “We try to make sure that our mental health team works hand in hand with our gender-based violence team and with child protection teams to make sure that the women and children who often are most vulnerable during times like this get the help they need.”

One of the biggest hurdles in this initiative has been exorbitant shipping costs. However, negotiations and support from generous donors have helped them to keep the process moving.

“Shipping is our biggest issue in getting these kits overseas,” Dr. Fidino said. “We were initially told that it would cost $19,000! We’ve been working hard to negotiate and think we’ve gotten it down to $2,000 which will be covered by generous Tri-Cities community members.”

Dr. Fidino added that she’s planning to continue the initiative indefinitely.

“By giving them a little bit of help, I’m hoping it’ll take some of that burden away,” Dr. Fidino said.

To donate, you can either click here or drop off items in person at 35 S Louisiana St Suite A120, Kennewick, WA 99336.

ORIGINAL STORY: Tri-Cities women’s clinic provides hygiene kits to Ukrainian refugees in Poland

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