It's time to start talking about period product need, with The Monthly
Families who receive our diapers tell us they have gone without buying period products in order to purchase food or other basic needs. Period product need, or period poverty, is often not discussed because of shame surrounding menstruation or the thought that it is a taboo subject. What does that mean? It means using toilet paper, fast food napkins, socks, paper towels from public restrooms, or using the same tampon for too long. We can do better than this. Period.
Here’s Where YOU Come In:
We know that this is something we can tackle together and we know you want to help. We’ve got three ways to get involved!
1. Monthly Supporter
Make an ongoing automatic donation to The Monthly through our recurring giving program! Donating dollars allows us to get items at a discount through wholesalers and ensures we can stock the most requested items. Head over to our Donate page and subscribe to ongoing giving.
2. Monthly Champion
When you buy period products, throw in an extra pack. NOTE: Pads are requested far more often than tampons. Donate those extra products at one of our 100+ drop-off locations across the region. Or order extra supplies off our Amazon Wishlist and they will come directly to us. That’s it!
3. Period Products Bundler
Help bundle period products! GDCDB receives loose period products that we need to bundle together in order to be able to distribute to our partners. You can pick up loose period products from our warehouse and all the supplies you’ll need, and get bundling! This is a great activity for a girls’ weekend, Girl Scout Troop, or school service project! Read our how-to guide to get started.
4. Host a Drive for The Monthly
Collecting donations on a larger scale is a great way to spread the word about the need for period products. You can make your drive your own – host it at your office, school, gym; make it a competition to see how many products people can donate; tack your drive onto another event like a party or awareness week. We encourage creativity! Once you decide you want to host a drive, we can help you get off on the right foot with a toolkit and answer any questions – sign up below!
Why Period Products?
That time of the month. Menstruation. Period. Shark Week. Aunt Flo…
Whatever you call it, it’s a natural part of life for half the world’s population. Many of us take the tampons and pads we use during our periods for granted. If we happen to be out and about without a tampon or pad when we get our period, we run to the nearest store to buy our favorite brand. But these products are expensive, and many can’t afford to buy what they need, or any at all. Greater DC Diaper Bank addresses this issue by collecting donated tampons and pads, working with more than seventy-five nonprofit organizations in the area to get these products to the people who need them.
The Monthly is a project of Greater DC Diaper Bank that addresses this need.
We see these means of support, such as providing a family with diapers or period products, as part of the larger puzzle. Families tell us that when financial stress is relieved from one area, they are able to redirect those resources towards food, transportation, rent, and other essentials, which helps alleviate the pressure of poverty and increases quality of life.
Why Period Products?
Menstruation is costly. Not only are tampons and pads roughly $7 per box, but in many states, they are also taxed as luxury items. Several recent articles have estimated the “cost of being a woman” at thousands of dollars over a lifetime. Thanks to advocacy work, there is a growing movement to remove sales and luxury taxes from period products, and both Maryland and DC removed theirs within the last seven years. Virginia has a reduced tax on period products and has introduced legislation to end taxes on period products completely. Using your voice works!
By contributing to the Monthly – through donations, discussions, and community engagement – you can make the DC metro area a better place for all. You’ll help relieve some of the worry, shame, and fear during that time of the month and raise awareness in our community about the social, economic, and health barriers faced by those living in poverty in our area.
- We’re shocked they are still taxed this way in so many states! Take a look at our testimony to the DC Council to remove sales tax on diapers, period products, and adult diapers. You can take a look at the Virginia bill introduced in 2020, which passed in the Senate but not the House, here.
- Menstrual hygiene products are rarely donated to shelters and food banks. They are often forgotten and overlooked as being an essential, basic material need for people who have periods. Check out our testimony in support of the Menstrual Equity for All Act of 2019 introduced by Representative Grace Meng (D-NY) on March 26, 2019.
- On top of it all, when products are available at these locations, many may be either unaware of their availability or too embarrassed to ask for them, adding another barrier.
- Just like diapers, tampons and pads are not covered by any assistance programs.
- Without access to tampons and pads, some are forced to use make-shift alternatives and are at increased risk for health complications.
The Monthly Project
Be a voice for menstruators in your community by signing up to be part of The Monthly today! To learn more or to sign up, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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“Half the world’s population deals with menstruation for years of their life; we believe that everyone deserves to be clean, comfortable, and confident every day of every month.”
MARIKA KLEIN – MONTHLY PROGRAM ASSOCIATE