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Texas teacher Kylie DeFrance’s wishlist of menstrual items goes viral

CENTRAL TEXAS (KXAN) — Kylie DeFrance’s mailman came up to her, asking if she knew she had 50 packages to deliver. The next day dozens more packages arrived and a separate postman asked if a child had accidentally ordered them.

In total, DeFrance received more than 300 boxes of pads, tampons and menstrual products — and the packages continue.

DeFrance, from Bastrop, Texas, is an eighth-grade teacher at a Title I charter school in Austin, where many of her students are entitled to free and reduced-price lunches. The financial means to afford menstrual products does not extend to many of her students, who often depend on teachers for access to pads and tampons.

While creating an Amazon wishlist, DeFrance posted on her neighborhood’s Nextdoor page to seek outside financial support. She regularly spends between $100 and $200 a month on menstrual products without reimbursement.

“A lot of these kids don’t have the luxury of having everything they need,” she said.

What she hadn’t anticipated were hundreds of boxes of pads and tampons delivered to her front door, complete with messages of support from community members.

“My house looks like an Amazon parcel store, like it’s crazy,” she said.

  • Middle school teacher Kylie DeFrance received hundreds of boxes of menstrual products for her students after her Amazon wishlist went viral on her neighborhood Nextdoor group.  (Courtesy of Kylie DeFrance)

With the surplus supplies received, DeFrance said she was able to create vintage goodie bags for students to take home, as well as share resources with other teachers. She said her hope is to standardize periods — and give students the products they need — so they can focus on their learning without their cycles being a priority.

“I just want to make it something that they don’t have to think about or get stressed out or worried about or uncomfortable with,” she said. “You should be comfortable while you learn in school.”

From a financial perspective, conversations surrounding menstrual products have reached the legislative level in recent years, with 24 states removing sales taxes on menstrual products like sanitary napkins and tampons.

“I think people sometimes think that removing a sales tax on menstrual products is meaningless,” said Laura Strausfeld, founder and executive director of Period Law. “The truth is, if you think about the cost of these products, for people who can’t buy them in bulk and have to buy them as needed, it’s significantly higher.”

Although Texas has yet to approve a sales tax exemption, DeFrance said she will continue to do what she can locally to help her students in need — along with some special neighborhood friends. who help him now.

“When you support a teacher’s Amazon wishlist, you’re not just supporting the teacher — you’re supporting over 100 kids who love receiving that support, especially from strangers,” she said. declared. “It’s a really nice feeling. It’s a cool feeling.”