Flowvember Period Kits • My Friend's Place + LA Family Housing
DID YOU KNOW? Menstrual pads are the highest demand personal care item among female-focused service providers and shelters.
For our November event, we'll be creating (500) Women's Period Kits for Women and Girls at LA Family Housing and My Friends Place!
WE ARE COLLECTING: Pads, Tampons, Bras & Underwear, Toilet Paper, Feminine Wipes, Hand Sanitizer Wipes, Soap, Candy
Join us on November 12th, 2017 from 11a-2p at The Flower Studio to drop off donations and build period kits. Come learn about why women's health is so important to LA's homeless and those in transitional housing. We'll be packing up donated feminine hygiene products and writing notes of love and encouragement for recipients! All ages and genders are welcome and encouraged to attend.
When I was asked to come up with an event or volunteer opportunity for November, I had no idea what I could do to make a difference. I’d gladly participated in everything ResisterhoodLA had to offer: food prep, river and beach cleanups, Trunk or Treat, even helping to film a PSA. But I struggled to find something I was passionate about.
Things fell into place rather quickly. As a budding feminist, I wanted to do something to help lift up women. And as an Angeleno of over 11 years, I knew how important it would be to help address the issue of homelessness in LA. As I researched ways to help, it became glaringly obvious that we are not meeting the menstrual needs of women who are experiencing homelessness. When you have a roof over your head, you take for granted that there will be food in the cupboard, sheets on the bed, and tampons under the sink. But every day there are thousands upon thousands of women in our own city who are forced to choose between a meal and a menstrual pad. So with the help of ResisterhoodLA’s fearless leader, we decided to collect feminine hygiene products and make period kits! And when the event was scheduled for a Sunday, we knew right away we had to lean in: Bloody Marys would be served to thirsty volunteers, and the playlist would feature U2’s “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood”.
We chose two local organizations to receive the products: LA Family Housing, an incredible organization that helps transition families out of homelessness, and My Friend’s Place, a drop-in center that provides life-changing services to homeless youth.
I could not believe it when I reached out to feminine hygiene product companies and they not only responded enthusiastically, but also pulled through BIG TIME with donations. Aunt Flow, Conscious Period, and Monthly Gift all sent generous boxes of product for us to include in our kits. All of these companies are built on the idea that EVERY woman should should menstruate with dignity. They provide products to women affected by homelessness all over the world. Check them out and support them!
Not only did we receive support from product companies, but we also received an incredible donation of Bloody Mary Mix from our local BevMo, and had a beautiful space and accommodating hosts offered by The Flower Studio. The outpouring of love and support was overwhelming.
Which leads me to the volunteers and donors. After setting up an Amazon wishlist so that people could donate product from afar, I came home night after night to piles of boxes so high that I couldn’t get through my front door. When the doors opened at 11am on the day of the Menstrual Flow-vember event, there were already volunteers, armed with pads, tampons, and brand new underwear WAITING. They poured in. Friends, family, coworkers, members of ResisterhoodLA, and even complete strangers came through the doors of the flower shop. Together, we took bags and moved from station to station, filling each with tampons, pads, liners, soap, sanitary wipes, and an encouraging note to the woman who received it. After we filled 300 bags (!!!), we organized and packed up the thousands of other supplies to go to LAFH and MFP. Each volunteer gave their time, their money, and their energy to this product, and I’ve never been more stunned by the power of community.
One of my favorite parts of the event was a Q&A with Jeff Katz, Development and Communications Manager for My Friend’s Place. Did you know there are over 6,000 youth experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles? I first learned about My Friend’s Place a year ago, when the TV show I work for brought a group from the center in to see a taping. I was blown away by these young people. They had so much gratitude, hope, and genuine lust for life.
My hope is that, the next time you go to make a donation of canned foods or gently worn clothing, you consider donating pads, tampons, liners, and underwear too. Food banks, homeless shelters, and drop-in support centers desperately need these items. I learned so much from this event, but the biggest lesson was this: If you see a need in your community, you can do something about it. And if you only ask, everyone you know will come running to help!
ABOUT MY FRIEND'S PLACE
My Friend’s Place assists and inspires homeless youth to build self-sufficient lives.
My Friend's Place served 1,418 homeless young people last year - over one third of the homeless youth population in Los Angeles
MFP provided nearly 30,000 meals to homeless youth
MFP provided over 540 linkages to on-site and off-site medical care for youth
MFP provided intensive case management to 452 homeless young people
MFP helped over 118 homeless youth successfully move into housing
ABOUT LA FAMILY HOUSING
LA Family Housing (LAFH) helps people transition out of homelessness and poverty by providing a continuum of housing enriched with supportive services. Since 1983, LAFH has become one of the largest comprehensive real estate developers and homeless service providers in Los Angeles and a regional leader providing solutions to end homelessness.