I still vividly remember the day “Aunt Flow” first paid me a visit. I was with my grandfather and had to endure one of the most awkward conversations of my young life. Thankfully, he took it like a champ and promptly called my mom, who took me to the nearest drug store where I stared down rows of feminine care products trying to figure out the ins and outs of something I had been pretty oblivious to up until that point.
These days I don’t give too much thought to my period, yet it’s one of the only experiences that makes me uniquely a woman and it’s something that I share with all women across the world. It signifies my ability to bear children and the absence (or presence) of children within my body. And still, it comes and goes each month without much attention other than my annoyance at needing to run to the drug store for products or the ever present bottle of ibuprofen I keep in my purse. But for many women across the United States, and even the world, the narrative is a different one.
For the 3.5 million Americans who experience homelessness each year, their period is more than a minor inconvenience. They have few places to turn to for period products and supplies. Womens shelters and homeless shelters are often lacking and when all of your money is dedicated to simply surviving, purchasing sanitary products presents a burden that pushes it ever lower on the list of necessities.
After learning that period products are often lacking in homeless shelters, a woman named Holly Sanchez tweeted that there needs to be something done to help, which inspired the brand U by Kotex to make this cause their next Period Project. Joining forces with Holly and DoSomething.org, the brand created the Power to the Period, the first ever national period products donation drive, urging woman to donate a box of feminine products to their local homeless shelter. The Power to the Period campaign also examines the many personal needs of those experiencing homelessness and drives awareness of the limited access and places to turn to for period products for these individuals.
As a woman it’s time to change the conversation around periods. Feminine hygiene is a topic that we should all be in together and Power to the Period is proof that, together, we can change the way we think about, talk about and support the period needs of the homeless in our communities.
[infobox]You can get involved today by dropping off a box of unopened feminine products to your local women’s or homeless shelter.[/infobox]
Other Ways to Get Involved
- Start a Power to the Period donation drive or donate new boxes of period products to a drive in your area from now through Friday, September 30.
- Visit UbyKotex.com, DoSomething.org/Period or text PERIOD to 38383 to learn how to get involved.
* The U by Kotex® brand will also make product donations on behalf of DoSomething.org contest winners and participants can sign up for a chance to win a $5,000 scholarship*.
- Visit UbyKotex.com to learn more about other Period Projects and to request a U by Kotex® product sample.
- Join the online conversation with #PeriodProjects.
This post was written on behalf of U by Kotex. All opinions remain my own.