Department of Population Health Sciences Hosts Donation Drive for Menstrual Hygiene Day

The Department of Population Health Sciences recently hosted a donation drive in recognition of Menstrual Hygiene Day. Attendees created menstrual kits for the Asiyah Women’s Center 

The Asiyah Women’s Center is the first women’s emergency center in NYC and New Jersey to provide services specifically for Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian (AMEMSA) women, as well as the Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) population. They provide temporary housing for victims of domestic violence and women facing eviction or homelessness and have served over 175 women and children since their opening.  

The drive was planned by Angelyse Cardona, events coordinator and student in the MS in Health Policy and Economics program at Weill Cornell Medicine (WCM), class of 2023. Angelyse explains that she’s always been interested in reproductive health and its associated services, especially after her mom experienced a complicated delivery when having her twin brother and sister.  

“[Before college] I was heavily involved in the free clinic next to my house in Virginia, where we offered free menstrual products, free birth control, prenatal counseling, prenatal vitamins, and healthcare to people who lacked health insurance,” she said. “The clinic served a community that was pretty affluent and allowed a lot of people to fall through the cracks.” 

For her master’s capstone project at WCM, she focused on menstrual equity in NYC. The project gave her insight into the laws affecting menstrual equity, especially for those in temporary housing or experiencing homelessness. While researching it, she met Dania Darwish, executive director and founder of the Asiyah Women’s Center.  

Angelyse saw an opportunity to help the population at the center, who are often experiencing significant change in their lives. She introduced the idea of a donation drive to Anisah Alladeen, research assistant in the Department of Pediatrics. She is working on a project to understand menstrual-related health disparities in adolescents, with a specific focus on the association between the first occurrence of menstruation and mental health.  

Anisah joined in planning the event, given the connection between her and Angelyse’s work and their shared commitment to empowering communities to seek care. She was informed of a grant offered by the Social Justice and Anti-Racism task force at WCM and applied with the donation drive in mind. She received $2000, which was used to purchase additional menstrual and postpartum products. 

“I’ve always known the importance of access to care, but this event was an opportunity to take initiative and address a major disparity for women,” Anisah said. “As a future physician, I want to continue doing events that provide resources to vulnerable individuals and inspire others to do the same. This is just the beginning.” 

The donations include 2452 tampons, 4288 pads, and 2400 pantyliners, which comprised over 200 menstrual hygiene kits that attendees assembled. These kits will be provided to people upon their initial intake at the center. Kits also included bookmarks decorated with Arabic writing, an addition that recognizes the Muslim women being served by the center. The kits were donated alongside numerous unopened boxes of each menstrual product, as well as 60 pairs of underwear and 2668 postpartum products. Altogether, the donation will supply the center for about four years.  

“I had the intention of making this an event where we could be hands-on and create something together,” said Angelyse. “Change isn’t just at the individual level; it really does come with policy change that makes healthcare more accessible. But we can help bridge the gap by donating to organizations that make resources more accessible.” 

Angelyse and Anisah plan to continue advocating for health equity, impacting policy change, and directly affecting healthcare in their communities. For those who want to contribute financially or further affect menstrual equity causes, visit 

Population Health Sciences 402 E. 67th St. New York, NY 10065 Phone: (646) 962-8001