During the month of May, the Ross Medical Education Center Brighton, Michigan campus supported the #HappyPeriod initiative. Campus Director Susan Mall first learned of the movement from Financial Aid Student Support Representative Jenn Eger-Morris at the Ross Ann Arbor campus. The #HappyPeriod organization collects sanitary products, wipes, and undergarments for homeless women including teens and veterans.
According to their website, #HappyPeriod is a social movement of girlfriends with an initiative to ease the hardship of homelessness. Understanding that those in poverty have a variety of important needs, they know that the items in their menstrual hygiene kits are often a lower priority and usually overlooked. Miranda Lee, student in the Brighton Pharmacy Technician class, commented “that time of the month is really hard if you don’t have the right supplies.” Another student, Megan Baugh, was glad the program targets teens as she commented, “I couldn’t imagine going to school without supplies.”
Although collecting and distributing donation is an important aspect of what they do, #HappyPeriod also holds monthly volunteer events during which groups put together the menstrual hygiene kits and then distribute them to women living on the streets. The organization is based out of Los Angeles, but has spread to now have nine chapters across the United States. Some of the cities they can be found in are Washington D.C., New York, Miami, and Chicago, with many volunteers providing supplies in cities all over the United States and Canada.
This organization has worked hard to create a model of giving back that makes it easy for anyone to get involved. There are options that range from hosting a gathering in a volunteer’s city to setting up a donation drive for the homeless in their community. The students, faculty, and staff worked together and were able collect five large boxes of supplies. Kati Taylor, Pharmacy Technician extern said, “people out there really need them.”
Before she decided to create the #HappyPeriod initiative in 2015, founder Chelsea VonChaz was working as a wardrobe stylist. She then pushed it all aside to become a self-proclaimed Image Activist, inspiring others to live their purpose. “I thought about how it’s a luxury for me to tend to my period needs, whenever and however, comfortably. This is my attempt at making another woman’s reality less of a nightmare.”