In America, 1 out of every 3 women lives at or near the poverty lEVEL. That means over 42 million women struggle to afford tampons or pads EVERY SINGLE MONTH.

On average, a woman needs about 250 tampons or pads each year, but many lack access to these basic care items. Infrequent changing of tampons or pads is unhealthy, unsanitary and unsafe. Not having access to these products is unthinkable. Shelters are in constant need when it comes to female care goods. We can change that together.

For the month of September 2016, we asked the city of Des Moines to put aside any discomfort with female periods, and donate an unprecedented number of tampons and pads to benefit our local shelters and services. 

We had a lofty goal of collecting over 25,000 tampons or pads. We are still working on a final count, stay tuned to our Facebook Event for updates!

How Can I Help?

We're collect physical donations at many drop-off locations around the metro, and we also accept monetary donations. Read below for details!

We've talked with each of the shelters and organizations to identify which items their clients prefer. The greatest need is unscented tampons with cardboard applicators in a variety of absorbency — regular, light, super, etc. We've price shopped all major retailers and learned that Target's up&up brand is the cheapest price per item (as well as great quality). 

The shelters and organizations are also in need of pads and panty liners. We're accepting all types of absorbencies, but wings and ultra-thin pads are often preferred — no liners please! Once again, Target's up&up brand is the best quality product for the lowest price — but we'll accept whatever you are able to donate!

We want donating to be as simple as possible, so we're also accepting monetary donations online! 100% of every dollar will go directly to the purchase of tampons or pads and donated to the organizations. Donate now via PayPal, Square Cash or Venmo! You can also ship us products from our Amazon Wish List!

Who will this help?

Our goal is to make a positive impact for hundreds of women in the Des Moines Area. We've selected four organizations in need of feminine products. We are currently working with Youth Emergency Services & Shelter, Young Women’s Resource Center, House of Mercy, Central Iowa Shelter & Services and DMARC Food Pantry Network to provide them with as many donations as possible.

JOIN us on Social

Join our Facebook Event to help spread the word and keep updated our the drive. Follow the #redalertdsm hashtag and tag us when you share your donations on social media!

Drop-Off Locations

  • All Red Barrel Locations (At most Hy-Vee, Fareway & Price Chopper locations in the metro!)
  • Des Moines Social Club - Downtown

We owe a huge thank you to all of our drop-off locations during the month of September. Please join us in celebrating the following businesses: Domestica , Planet Hair SalonHill Vintage & KnitsSacred Diamond TattooAli CakesIowa Family Chiropractic , Des Moines Social ClubMatilda MuseGravitateFusion BoutiqueIgnite in Altoona, and Mod Parker!!!


"Red Alert! A Period Project" is the brainchild of several members of the Des Moines Girl Gang. If you have any questions, comments or ideas please email

Donation Links