MEDPREP item drive

MEDPREP student drive nets 13K hygiene products for women in corrections

Published Date:

MEDPREP studentsSIU MEDPREP students delivered more than 13,000 feminine hygiene products to Springfield on March 19 for women housed in the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC). The items were collected during the past month.

On February 12, SIU Executive Director of Correctional Medicine Dawn DeFraties, an SIU physician, and an IDOC physician spoke with MEDPREP and Lincoln Scholar students about correctional medicine at a convocation event in Carbondale.   

During the panel discussion, DeFraties mentioned that while incarcerated, women with limited means sometime go without feminine hygiene products. Sitting in the audience, first-year MEDPREP student Briya Kirksey thought that was wrong. She later discussed it with classmates. “We’re taught that when you find a problem, you fix it,” Kirksey said.

She then spoke with MEDPREP counselor Datrese Bradley and suggested a campus item drive to meet this need. Bradley in turn contacted DeFraties about the student’s plan and was able to confirm that administrators at the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) would welcome the donation. 

IDOC donation box
Kirksey, a native of Providence, RI, is passionate about assisting the underserved and marginalized communities. She went to work promoting the item drive, and from there “it just snowballed,” she said.  Mentors, family members and friends contributed at the MEDPREP facility and at a second site in Lindegren Hall on the Carbondale campus. She also shopped for items on Amazon, at Sam’s and Walmart. 

In Springfield for a Memorial Learning Center conference on the 19th, Kirksey and the MEDPREP students personally delivered boxes packed with the 13,000+ feminine hygiene products to DeFraties and staff. The items were picked up by IDOC for distribution later that day.

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