The Period Pals Project
We began our project by placing baskets filled with menstrual products in all of the appropriate
bathrooms at New Vista High School. We hope to do the same in all the middle/high schools in Boulder and Longmont.
In addition to raising funds we are collecting in kind donations. Coordinating to work with CU sororities, Boulder Valley Schools, placing donation boxes in all the houses/schools. We'd love be to able to offer volunteer hours to middle and high school students. A successful model we've been following, Girls Helping Girls. Period.,
http://www.girlshelpinggirlsperiod.org/ , recommends throwing parties to collect products!
The money donated will go toward buying products for those in and around our community who can't afford them, as well as providing baskets of products in bathrooms in area middle and high school bathrooms.
We greatly appreciate all contributions and if you would like to become more involved please email us.
It’s day two of our fundraising drive! Thanks a million to those who have already given!
Today is our anniversary! Two years ago on this day The Period Pals Project was born! The 2016 election results were in and we needed hope. We wanted to make a difference and we wanted to do it locally.
Menstrual inequity was relatively new to us. The fact that some folks actually lack the means to afford tampons and pads was shocking.
So we started small, filling baskets and setting up shop, so to speak, in the New Vista High School bathrooms.
It’s time for an update!! And this is BIG!
As you know, for the past two years, the PPP has been reaching out to form partnerships with Boulder Valley School District middle and high schools, and providing period products. Both in the form of our one-year supply bags of tampons or pads for students with ongoing needs as well as loose supplies in bathrooms and/or health rooms. To date partnering with Manhattan, Casey and Platt Middle Schools, as well as Centaurus, New Vista, Fairview and Boulder High Schools.
Last spring The Period Pals Project contacted the BVSD Board of Education and Superintendent. Noting student success, equity and closing the achievement gap as top priorities for BVSD, we respectfully requested a line item be added to the 2018-2019 budget to include menstrual products (tampons and pads) in all BVSD middle school and high school student and staff bathrooms.
Well folks, they did it! This fall BVSD took the important first step in providing period products to school nurses. Pad and tampons are now available for schools to order and have on-hand for students!
While we recognize this as an important first step, we continue to work directly with Stephanie Faren, BVSD’s new Health Services Director, to see that free-of-charge dispensers are ordered and installed in all appropriate middle and high school bathrooms. One of our board members, Sara Linnea Tollefson-King, has the opportunity to speak directly with our new superintendent, Rob Anderson, and he expressed absolute support.
We firmly believe that period products must be available in the bathrooms where our students can easily access them. Asking them to leave the bathroom, walk to the health room for a tampon or pad, then return to the bathroom is both time consuming and stressful. We believe that as a community, we have the opportunity and obligation to reduce their stress and to help them best utilize their time.
The BVSD Operations department is currently doing a survey of middle and high schools to determine if and where dispensers are located within the schools (there are none). As soon as they have that information gathered they will determine the next steps. We’ll keep you up to date!
In addition to moving this initiative forward, Ms. Faren has helped to connect us with school/community liaisons throughout BVSD. These relationships have been invaluable for us in reaching students with ongoing needs. We have had requests for, and provided, over 10, one-year supply bags and two menstrual cups just this fall!
This is our mission and it is incredibly gratifying to finally reach our target population!
Through our work with EFAA (Emergency Family Assistance Association) here in Boulder we have been able to reach our wider target population-distributing upwards of 300, one-year supply bags since we began in the fall of 2016! Our recipients have been nothing but grateful. We’ve received thank you notes and repeatedly hear from our recipients stressing to us just how impactful this support is to their families. We also help support the food bank supply and fill baskets in the common bathrooms in the EFAA lobby.
Whew! Exciting stuff, huh?!
In order to continue to serve those in our community with ongoing needs, both in our schools and through our local food banks we’ll need your help. We are 100% supported through donations-both monetary and in-kind. So, for the next few weeks we will be actively running a fundraising drive.
During the drive we’ll bring you some of the stories we’ve heard from our recipients, outline some facts surrounding menstrual inequity and keep you in the loop as BVSD moves forward.
Anything helps! Literally, it all adds up! Give if you can, and if you’ve got product to donate it can be mailed to or dropped off at:
1109 Ridglea Way, Boulder, CO 80303.
You can also send monetary donations to this address.
We’re excited and energized! We KNOW the need is there and we are committed to meeting this challenge head-on! Help us help those is our community meet this most basic of needs!
(AND—very important—Please consider sharing this on your page!!) The wider our circle the bigger our impact.
If you’re not already, please follow our Facebook page- https://m.facebook.com/theperiodpalsproject/
We watch for deals and coupons but primarily shop at Costco where the cost of tampons and pads is half the cost of average stores. However, most folks who can’t afford menstrual supplies also cannot afford a Costco membership. Many have limited access to transportation and are therefore forced to shop at over priced drug stores in their neighborhoods. Making the cost of not only menstrual supplies but everything else most expensive to those with the least.
We are so grateful to our donors, without whom none of this would be possible. Our fundraiser in December was fantastic and we are forever grateful to The Peace Meal Project for helping put it all together.
We have a few goals for 2018.
Starting with our school-age population. We want to start the conversation to bring free supplies to all BVSD/St Vrain Valley SD schools, and ultimately statewide. We believe free menstrual supplies should be available in all appropriate bathrooms in all of our public schools. In 2017 the states of New York, California and Illinois passed laws requiring public schools provide assess to free menstrual supplies at school.
We know, because we have heard first hand from our recipients, that students are missing school every month for lack of menstrual supplies. These valuable members of our community should not have to worry about yet another obstacle to their success. The Period Pals Project will continue to be available to those with ongoing needs by providing all schools with 1-year supply packages.
We want to grow our presence at EFAA by making our one year supply packages available to all participants. As it stands, Denise offers them during her 2 hour shift once a week. Over the past 7 months we’ve provided over 50 recipients with a one year supply during just this single weekly shift. We’d like to make this program available during all hours to all participants. In order to confidently launch we feel we need a healthy inventory of at least 50 years. It adds up quickly $12.99 x 50=$649.50. We’re currently in a position to launch, but need to remain sustainable.
In order to remain sustainable we need to widen our net and broaden our exposure. We are assembling an advisory board to continue to expand and grow. Please contact us if you’re interested.
We will work actively to put together a youth coalition to bring the younger members of our community into the conversation and give them some ownership of this important movement.
Check out our website-
We're kicking it into high gear!
We're getting ready to launch our one year supply packages at EFAA-Emergency Family Assistance Association here in Boulder. Their mission is to "help those in our community whose immediate needs for food, shelter and other basic necessities cannot be adequately met by other means, and supports their efforts toward financial stability or self-sufficiency."
I have been volunteering at EFAA in their intake office assisting participants in the food bank for about a year and a half. They do incredible work for our community and are a natural recipient for The Period Pals Project. Participants at EFAA will now have access to our one year supply packages.
In order for us to take this on, we'll need everyone's help! We figure that the demand will be high in the beginning and that we will need to be prepared to serve up to 200 participants. At a cost of $60-$80 a year per recipient, we will need to raise $12,000-$16,000!
What a great project! Here's a way to make it as inclusive as possible: Stick to fragrance-free products. To see why, check out the research of Anne Steinemann at www.drsteinemann.com. (Yes, she's a real university researcher who publishes in peer-reviewed journals. :-) ) Her studies suggest that about a third of the general population suffers adverse health effects from fragrance exposures, including asthma and migraine. The press releases about the studies are a great place to start. Don't make fragrance an accessibility barrier for these period products! And thank you for your work on this fantastic endeavor!