While menstruation is a normal and healthy part of almost every woman's life, 40 states across the United States have chalked it up to something as simple as a non-essential sales tax. Basic medical necessities from pads to tampons to menstrual cups all receive a high price spike in comparison to their tax-free male counterparts. Throughout her cycle, an average woman will spend an upwards personal budget of $70-100 dollars a year on menstrual products.
Keeping up with a recurring budget like this is taxing and burdening already, and for women without homes, it can be downright impossible. Although a certain number of homeless shelters across the country provide period products to women, the products themselves are often limited and not always customized to women with heavy or irregular flow. Leaving many women to bleed through their clothes and go throughout their day stained. Thankfully, Project Period is here to make sure no women is marked or targeted for their natural bodily functions.The effort packages a wide variety of period products and starting November 21st they will be distributed and shipped to homeless women all across the country.
PAPER caught up with Brooklyn White, founder of Project Periodto learn more about the initiative.
Under Project Period, what products will be made available to women?
White: We will provide pads, tampons, panty liners, hand sanitizer, candy, and wipes. Plus a toothbrush kit and tissue just because.
Starting the week of Thanksgiving, me + some volunteer homies will be distributing period products to the homeless… https://t.co/9rOPT43XUF
When did you realized Project Period needed to kick off this holiday season?
A spirit of gratitude and seeing how cruel people can be towards homeless folks. I've seen videos and articles where they are handled with such carelessness. Empathy matters, y'all. Sharing blessings matters.
I was in a homeless shelter in 2014 and the majority of the women there, like all but one, were Black women and women of color. I think it's important that they know that they are seen and genuinely cared for.
How much has Project Period been able to raise thus far and what has been the communal impact?
Just under $500. It'll go towards materials and the cost of shipping kits to other areas. I've been able to bond with women in my community, on and offline. Creating a space for women to link, talk, and help those in need is necessary and powerful.
In the ongoing fight against Tampon Tax, we have seen everyone from California Lawmaker Cristina Garcia pushing a bill to end tampon tax in her home state to New York State Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal and State Senator Sue Serino introduce anti-tampon tax legislation in Albany. However, with Project Period, the fight has become much more localized and accessible.
If you are interested in getting involved and donating to provide period supplies for homeless women across the U.S., contact firstname.lastname@example.org.