TAYLOR COUNTY—What started as a program to help young girls navigate through the ups and downs of becoming a woman has now grown into an initiative that will extend to women who are in need of crucial feminine products.
Project Period was the brainchild of Planned Approach to Community Health (PATCH) member Alicia Lyons. Through the program, was created with the goal of helping adolescent females more easily transition from childhood to adulthood, a time that can be both scary and stressful.
According to Lyons, it was while she was scrolling through Facebook that she had seen where someone had taken small pouches, in this case Ipsy bags, and filled them for a local school. She decided then and there that a similar project should be started in Taylor County.
“I thought it was a great idea, and it fell in line with the PATCH Coalition’s goals of a healthier community,” said Lyons. “Everyone at PATCH was eager to help and began contributing donations themselves.”
To make the project a success, the organization began collecting pouches like those from Ipsy, Thirty-One or other similar small bags that would be filled with disposable underwear, hygiene wipes, pads, panty liners and tampons. The bags were then delivered to Taylor County Middle School (TCMS) and housed in the nurse’s office for students to use when needed.
After seeing great success in Project Period at TCMS, the PATCH Coalition made an easy decision expand their program to aid young ladies in need at Grafton High School.
Another factor that weighed heavy in the creation of the program was that some families in the area found themselves in a situation where even purchasing needed hygiene products was difficult.
“The inability to purchase menstruation supplies is also a big problem for some kids in the county, and we want to help, but we cannot do it alone,” she added.
Because of the idea behind it, Lyons shared that it is her hopes that project will once more be expanded, this time, to include agencies in Taylor County that assist less fortunate individuals or those who may be down on their luck with the obtaining of needed supplies.
“While working on Project Period goals over the last few weeks, I wondered if there was another demographic we could help with our period packs,” explained Lyons. “So, I contacted the Bread of Life Mission that tends to the needs of our homeless population in Taylor County.”
With the Bread of Life receptive to the idea, Lyons began compiling lists of items that would be needed for the bags. Instead of being small pouches, the new period pack would consist of a month’s worth of items, 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. “And while PATCH hasn’t officially voted on the project, I have already started getting period packs together, with the help of some organizations.”
She reported that Planned Parenthood made a donation of six period cups, for ladies who would like a long-term reusable product.
“Taylor County Family Resources might be able to help us with hand sanitizer and Unicare is working on getting us some sling backpacks,” she added.
Lyons revealed that donations of bags and the items to fill them are being sought to help make Project Period a success across the board.
“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.”