There’s a new club at Hood River Valley High School, and its aim is to provide menstrual products to those in need both in the community at large and at the high school.
PERIOD@HRVHS is part of the larger club PERIOD, founded in 2014 by two high school students “fighting to end period poverty and period stigma through service, education and advocacy” (period.org) that now has more than 600 campus chapters around the world.
The HRVHS club was co-founded this year by students Grace Skakel, Poppy Miller and Chloe Bullock.
Skakel serves as president; she learned of the club after reading a book by PERIOD founder Nadya Okamoto and brought the idea to Miller and Bullock. The club officially formed in October after operating under the auspices of Girl Up, another high school club, last year. There are currently 15 PERIOD@HRVHS members.
Projects include supplying menstrual products for 110 menstruators each month: 100 at FISH Food Banks, five at Helping Hands Against Violence women’s shelter and five at the warming shelter during its seasonal run. They are also working to have free menstrual products supplied in the high school’s bathrooms along with the usual toilet paper and soap.
“Half the student population is on free and reduced lunch, so there is a need for these services,” said Bullock and Miller in an email.
According to data collected by members, 60 percent of those polled said they would consistently use period products if they were provided at school, with an additional 30 percent saying they would use the products on occasion.
“Access to menstrual products should be a right, not a privilege,” said Bullock and Miller.
The club has a GoFundMe page (gofundme.com/f/period-hrvhs) to fund the community aspects of their project; anything raised over their $3,000 goal will be used to buy products for the HRVHS bathrooms.
They are also looking for sponsors to fund a month of supplies (less than $5) or a year ($30) for one menstruator; those interested should contact the club at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.