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Bloomington-Normal teen uses online business to help homeless women

A Bloomington-Normal teen is not just an ecopreneur she is also a philanthropist working to help those women experiencing homelessness in McLean County.

Madalyn Schmitt, a senior at University High School in Normal, donated 152 “Period Packs” — which contain five tampons, five pads and five feminine wipes — to the Path Criss Center.

“There are so many things that we take for granted that you wouldn’t even think that homeless people don’t have access to pads or tampons or that might be a choice between their next meal or taking care of their period in a sanitary way,” Schmitt said.

She was able to donate 1,540 products by selling what she calls “Super Discreet Tampon Cases” on her online shop Madalyn Harley Designs through Etsy. For each case she sells Schmitt donates one product and her grandmother matches her donation.

“A lot of people think about the fact that you can donate like food and clothes and stuff like that to homeless people but you don’t think of the other things that they need that we might just take for granted and forget about,” she said. “It’s just wonderful to be able to serve women in our community so that their lives are easier and they can have the same things that we take for granted.”

The Path Crisis Center serves at least 300 people each year in McLean County.

“The reason why people don’t donate women-specific products like the menstrual products because of the fact that when you see people stuck on the street it’s almost always men,” Path Crisis Center Program Mangar of Homeless Services Erik Zdanksy said.

Schmitt plans to continue donating feminine hygiene products to those experiencing homelessness through her shop at  Madalyn Harley Designs.


Stephanie Rodriguez

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