Do Something Period.
Local students to kick off new area nonprofit with period drive this March
Feb. 26, 2019 - Following an eye opening experience this summer, four local high school students have taken the initiative to spearhead a new nonprofit organization aimed to end period poverty in the Dayton region.
What’s period poverty, you may ask?
The average woman uses six feminine hygiene products a day throughout her cycle, adding up to almost 40 per cycle. With 17.9 percent of people in Montgomery County below the poverty line, women are put in a position to make difficult decisions, leading to period poverty and menstrual inequality throughout the region.
Women must make choices monthly if their money goes to food, shelter or menstrual hygiene essentials. These necessary products are not covered by WIC or any other welfare program. Each month, this leaves countless people in our community without the menstrual hygiene products many of us take for granted.
Ryann Mescher, Dana Clark, Zoe Waller and Claire Parker worked together beginning last fall to start forming the foundation of Femme Aid Collaborative, a nonprofit they started to tackle the problem head on.
“Women in this community are put in the unthinkable position of using alternative supplies like toilet tissue, socks, rags and often time use the products way longer than healthy recommendations,” Mescher said. “It’s totally unacceptable and we had no idea. When we found out this was a problem, we decided to do something about it - simple as that.”
Femme Aid Collaborative will host 3 Period Product supply drives this year with a goal of collecting and distributing 100,000 period pieces to local nonprofits. The first drive will kick off this March. You can find supporting partner locations--where you can drop of period supplies into barrels--on the Femme Aid website at FemmeAid.com.
The nonprofit has also set-up a fund through the Dayton Foundation, and donors can make tax deductible online donations through Femme Aid Fund #8298 www.daytonfoundation.org.
The students have dedicated January and February to launching the nonprofit and forming partnerships throughout the community to assist in gaining support and attention. Following a pitch at City Hall, the group even won the support of Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, who will be working in the next couple weeks to shine additional light on the mission, as we head into International Women’s Day on March 8.
“The Femme Aid Collaborative is a great example of young people taking charge after seeing a need,” Whaley said. “Lack of access to feminine hygiene products is not an issue we often think about, so I am very impressed with the founders for identifying this need and doing their part to fill it. I am so excited to support this cause and help rally support for this initiative.”
With an aim to collecting and distributing products throughout the region, the collaborative is hoping to make a measurable difference in the community, where lack of period products continue to be one of the hidden consequence of poverty in our community.
“Femme Aid Collaborative will help us to provide feminine supplies that aren’t always available to our female clients,” said Andrea McGriff, Program Services Director of Miami Valley Housing Opportunities. “PATH Homeless Outreach specialists work to meet the housing needs of the most vulnerable citizens in our community. Our clients need a variety of services to impact their lives positively. We provide basic care items every day and we never have enough female personal hygiene products.”
“We are so grateful to Femme Aid Collaborative for addressing this community issue; their insight and wiliness to support our women give us one less thing to focus our resources on.
Hats off to our young entrepreneurs, on behave of the (LV) I would like to thank you for this opportunity.” said Carmen Gooden, one of the two founders of Linda Vista, Inc., which provides housing to single women and mothers who are homeless. Linda Vista is one of the many community partners Femme Aide has connected with throughout its ramp up.
Gooden said often time the women who become resident of the Linda Vista have zero income for the first 3-6 months and personal items needs to be provided.
In Femme Aid’s kickoff month, March will be dedicated to the nonprofits Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness, Linda Vista and DayBreak Dayton, with collection spots at Speakeasy Yoga’s two locations, and donation locations at Luna Gifts and Heart Mercantile.
Femme Aid is calling on additional organizations and local companies to be collection sites or supporting partner locations by helping to get the word out.
Donations can be made through the Dayton Foundation - Femme Aid fund #8298 by mailing a check or online at FemmeAid.com. 100% of the March donations will go to purchasing period products for women and teens in need.
Donate at www.daytonfoundation.org
Make Checks payable
The Dayton Foundation
40 N. Main Street, Suite 500
Dayton Ohio 45423
Please note clearly on your check FEMME AID FUND #8298
FOR MORE INFORMATION