In honor of International Women’s Day, we want to showcase a very special nonprofit. It’s called Period: The Menstrual Movement.
Now before we delve into any further details, take a second to put yourself in the shoes of a homeless woman. How would you cope with being on your period? What items might you use if you couldn’t afford menstrual products? A sock? Toilet paper? Cotton balls?
That’s the situation that more than 50,000 homeless women in the United States find themselves in. Some of these women are so desperate for feminine care products that they end up using discarded paper bags.
It’s sad. It’s unsanitary. And no woman should ever have to go through that.
That’s why there’s Period: The Menstrual Movement. Period provides free menstrual products to low-income women. The organization is working to dismantle the taboo subject of menstruation by openly discussing the topic at high schools, colleges, and community centers.
Part of the problem is that not a lot of people realize how expensive menstruation products are. A 36-pack of tampons costs $6.97 at Walmart. A 27-pack of pads costs the same. On top of that, these products are taxed. Mamamia estimates that the average woman would save $120 a year if these products weren’t taxed. But that’s a subject for another time.
In the meantime, let’s talk more about what makes Period an outstanding organization. How about the fact that a 16-year-old girl founded it. Her name is Nadya Okamoto, and she’s a stunning example of what can happen when misfortune leads to innovation.
You see, Okamoto and her family were homeless at one point. That’s ultimately what led her to start a charity for menstruation products.
“It was a huge privilege check for me realizing that I never had to worry about dealing with my period. I never considered that it was such a major issue for women so much of the time,” Okamoto stated.
It’s admirable how she used her personal struggle to help other women overcome similar adversity. It begs the question: what personal struggles have you gone through that you can help others overcome?