PATCH initiative successful thanks to generous contributions

TAYLOR COUNTY—After receiving overwhelming support for their initiative, the Planned Approach to Community Health (PATCH) Coalition is happy to report that needed supplies are being made available to women in the county.

Earlier this month, the PATCH Coalition reached out to members of their organization, as well as their community partners to put to a vote the expansion of their Project Period campaign.

Because there has yet to be legislation that would provide much-needed menstrual items to female youths in sixth through twelfth grades, the organization took on the cost burden of supplying items to Taylor County Middle School and Grafton High School.

After seeing great success with both of those programs, the PATCH Coalition decided to expand their program and offer supplies to certain women in the community who would not otherwise be able to access the items.

“I thought the Project Period initiative was a great idea, and it fell in line with the PATCH Coalition’s goals of a healthier community,” said PATCH Coalition member Alicia Lyons. “While working on Project Period goals, I wondered if there was another demographic that we could help with our period packs. So, I contacted the Bread of Life Mission that tends to the needs of our homeless population in Taylor County.”

After discussing the possibility of extending the program to that demographic, she said the Bread of Life Mission was on board.

Lyons began compiling lists of items that she believed would be needed for the bags including regular flow tampons, heavy flow tampons, pads, individual packs of Pamprin or Midol, hand sanitizer, disposable wipes and biodegradable disposable bags.

She said that she would also like to include a pamphlet detailing the Taylor County Family Resources’ pantries and a small guide to menstrual hygiene.

“The goal will be to give the homeless menstruator a month’s supply of items so that they do not have to improvise protection and hygiene items,” Lyons noted.

With the help of various organizations, the PATCH Coalition was able to begin assembling packs that would be given to the Bread of Life Mission to assist homeless women in the county.

Because of the generous contributions, Lyons was able to construct six reusable packs and nearly 20 disposable kits.

“Each kit cost less than $8 due to the donations from our partners,” Lyons explained. “One style of kit contains a reusable menstrual cup and the other has disposable period products.”

Each kit contains a sling backpack, a zipper pouch, Chapstick, deodorant, shampoo, a toothbrush and toothpaste, a bar of soap, no rinse disposable bathing cloths, antibacterial gel, biodegradable sacks used for waste, hygiene wipes, a pair of socks and hair ties.

In addition, depending on the type of pack, pads, super absorbency tampons, regular absorbency tampons or reusable menstrual cups are included.

“I just want to thank everyone that helped supply items for the initiative,” expressed Lyons. “We couldn’t have done it without the generosity of Unicare, Taylor County Family Resources, Planned Parenthood and PATCH members.”

Lyons revealed that donations of bags and the items to fill them are being still being sought to help keep Project Period up and running.

“Any donations are certainly welcome and will be utilized,” Lyons expressed.

Donations may be dropped off at the Taylor County Family Resources office, located at 105 Beech Street, or the Taylor County DHHR office, located at 235 Barrett Street.

“We appreciate all of the continued support that Taylor County has shown to us and those who benefit from our services,” voiced Lyons. “We are excited about the expansion of Project Period and know that it will be beneficial to the females in our area.”


More In Local News