Thankful for the Period Project

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With Thanksgiving being less than a week away it's easy to become distracted by the turkey, pumpkin pie, Black Friday shopping, gravy, stuffing and going home for the holiday break. When it comes down to it what matters most about Thanksgiving is spending time with your loved ones and realizing what you’re thankful for. I am thankful for my wonderful loving friends, old and new, my supportive family, my dog, the roof over my head, the food in my house, my ability to go to college, new opportunities, like being able to write for Her Campus, and my ability to have a safe and comfortable period.

Yes, you read that right, period: the dirtiest word in the human language. Saying it aloud in public makes everyone immediately turn away from the conversation in disgust. The stigma behind periods is so debilitating that in many countries today, girls are unable to attend school because of their periods and have turned to unsafe materials like rags and paper for their feminine hygiene products. In the United States, tampons and pads are expensive and have a ‘luxury’ tax despite being an essential for women. Miseducation about periods is rampant with many being misinformed from lacking sex ed and health classes.

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At The University of Akron, The Period Project, a new organization that I am proud to be a member of, is working to support women in need of feminine hygiene products while fighting the stigma around periods. I spoke with Rachael Turkovich, founder and president of The Period Project.

Her Campus Akron:  What are The Period Project's short term and long term goals?

Rachael Turkovich: The Period Project is a new student organization, so this semester has been full of figuring things out  and getting our name out there. No one has paved the path for us, so it has been a major learning experience. A short term goal is to be successful at our upcoming Chipotle event and meet our goal of $300 for the Battered Women's Shelter of Summit and Medina County.

A long term goal for the organization, but also for me personally, is that we become established and strong enough as a group that The Period Project will flourish even after I graduate in 2020. I'm hoping there are other women that have the same passion for this issue as I do and can continue to help our surrounding community.

 

HCA: What was The Period Project’s latest project?

R.T.: Our first event, the Tampon Drive, was focused on working with Greek Life and outreaching to a group of women that showed great interest in this organization from the start. The Tampon Drive took place from October 23rd to November 10th on The University of Akron's campus. The event was a competition between the chapters to see which house could collect the most products and whoever won would be awarded cookies at their next meeting. We delivered boxes to each house and gave them roughly three weeks. Once the three weeks were up, we counted the donated products which added up to an outstanding amount of over 900 products and counting. The women of Delta Gamma were our winners by collecting 364 products (201 tampons and 163 pads) to help our community. I am so beyond grateful and appreciative of the support people have given to me over this semester. It has been a lot of work trying to get this organization up on its feet during these past few months but from this event alone, it has given me the confidence and motivation I needed to continue to try my best to help the women in our community.  Due to its overwhelming success we plan on continuing this Tampon Drive annually.

We also had a yoga event during this semester to have a fun and relaxing Saturday morning. We got bananas and water and all the women who attended were able to donate to help our cause.

 

HCA: Are there any more exciting upcoming events and fundraisers?

R.T.: On December 5th from 5-9pm we are going to be having a fundraising event at Chipotle. With any purchase we will get a donation if you have a picture of our flyer. You can find it on our instagram @periodprojectua. At the end of the semester, we are planning on going to the Women's Battered Shelter of Summit and Medina County to give them all the products we received this semester. We also are continuing to have yoga, zumba, or cycling events.

 

HCA: Who should you contact to join the Period Project?

R.T.: Contact Hannah Eberly, our Secretary at [email protected] if you are interested in joining.

 

It’s so important this holiday season to think not only about what we’re thankful for but also what we could do to help those who do not have what we take for granted. Consider spending your break and any other free time outreaching in your community and helping great organizations like The Period Project by volunteering and donating.

About The Author

Hi, I'm a freshman at the University of Akron! I am very excited to be majoring in social work. My passions include fashion, social change, beauty, social justice and feminism, and I'm very much looking forward to sharing my thoughts with all of you.

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