Check it out: Drive to provide low-income women with menstrual cycle products under way

  • Tampons that will be distributed to homeless women rest on a table during a meeting of The Period Project at Ludlow Country Club, Feb. 13.

  • Zonta Club of Quaboag Valley members Gale Lemanis, of Chicopee, from left, Sandy Goss, of Holyoke, Dianne Radebaugh, of Belchertown, Maria Sypek, of Belchertown, and Kate Sypek, of Belchertown, fill bags with feminine hygiene products during a meeting of The Period Project, which supplies homeless women with menstrual kits, Feb. 13 at Ludlow Country Club.

Monday, January 08, 2018

Compiled by Debra Scherban. Please send items to dscherban@gazettenet.com.

Drive to provide women with menstrual cycle products under way

When many think about donating goods to local organizations that assist families, the first things that come to mind are food and clothing. But items that many women need on a monthly basis for personal hygiene during their menstrual periods are sorely needed by those living in poverty, point out members of area chapters of Zonta International, a women’s service organization.

These products, which include pads, tampons and underwear liners, are not covered by SNAP or WIC.

And so, during the first six weeks of 2018, the Zonta Clubs of Northampton area, Quaboag Valley and Springfield are pooling resources for #The Period Project to raise awareness and collect these items which they will then assemble into kits to be distributed through agencies which assist the homeless and other low income women.

Addresses/maps for drop-off locations throughout Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties are available at ZontaQV.org/Period.

Zonta hopes to expand beyond the successful drive it led held last year, says Judith Luddy, one of the organizers.

The clubs are collecting:

Sealed boxes of pads or tampons

Underwear liners

Cleansing wipes, hand sanitizers and/or soap

New pairs of underwear (any size) or cash to purchase items in short supply.

Checks may be sent to Zonta/PP, PO Box 414, Williamsburg, MA 01096-0414.

All are welcome to help assemble kits Feb. 12 at the Ludlow Country Club, Ludlow. Setup takes place at 5:30 p.m. with dinner at 6 p.m., for a cost of $18 — cash, check or credit card. RSVP by Feb. 2 to 413-219-8260 or info@zontaqv.org.

There will be a second assembly party in the Northampton area in February. Information about that will be available soon.

The Zonta Clubs of Northampton area, Quaboag Valley and Springfield are part of Zonta District 01 — one of 32 districts throughout the world that form Zonta International. The district includes 17 clubs located in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, USA and Nova Scotia, Canada.

To learn more about the organization, visit www.zonta.org.

Enrollment for mandatory health insurance still open

Open Enrollment for health insurance in Massachusetts runs through Jan. 23, which is beyond the federal open enrollment period that ended Dec. 15.

Massachusetts still has a state-based individual mandate for health insurance. The Massachusetts mandate has been in place during the transition and implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and will remain in place even as enforcement and penalties for the federal mandate end in 2019.

Mindfulness courses set

Psychotherapist Dr. Ruth Folchman of Northampton is offering two eight-week mindfulness classes which teach formal and informal practices to manage life challenges.

Folchman, who is also a certified group psychotherapist, will hold the sessions Jan. 30 through March 20 in her group room at 40 Center St.

Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for Depression and Anxiety will take place on Tuesday evenings from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) will be held Tuesday mornings, 9 to 11:30 a.m.

The all-day class that is part of the curriculum is Sunday March 11.

Free orientation/introduction classes are offered for each of these session. The MBSR class will be Jan 16 and 23, 9 to 11 a.m. and MBCT takes place Jan 16 and 23, 6 to 8 p.m.

Go to ruth@drruthfolchman.com for more information, or call 413-582-6900.

Dance for those with Parkinson’s offered

Dance classes for those with Parkinson’s disease are once again being offered at Studio Helix on the third floor of Thornes Market, Main Street, Northampton.

Classes integrate various movement forms such as ballet, modern, folk dance, improvisation, and rhythmic styles that address PD-specific concerns such as balance, flexibility, coordination, isolation and depression. No dance training is required.

The winter series takes place on Tuesdays through Feb. 6. from 2:15 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.

Cost for the six-week series is $115/person or $25 drop-in.

For more information contact Fritha Pengelly at 413-586-2524 or frithap@earthlink.net

Seminar on elder care planned at Linda Manor

Linda Manor Assisted Living, 345 Haydenville Road Leeds, will host a seminar on caring for an aging relative or spouse Jan. 17 featuring advice from Sheryl Fappiano, a professional geriatric care manager (GCM).

The session is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m., and will include dinner. To RSVP call Linda Manor Assisted Living at 413-588-3301.

Sheryl Fappiano has worked for more than 35 years in a variety of settings all relating to geriatrics.