Clutch: The Packing Party

On a rainy Sunday afternoon, I trudged across campus, clutching an orange juice in hand as I felt the onset of a cold. I was fresh out of work, exhausted from waking up early for it. It would have been the perfect day to head up to my room, throw on some sweatpants, and curl up in bed with a good movie. However, I found myself someplace better. But, I never imagined that someplace better would consist of more pads and tampons than I have ever seen in my life. What was this magical place full of feminine products, you ask? None other than Clutch, a nonprofit organization that seeks to provide women of all ages to have access to these items in a discrete, comfortable manner.

Based off my previous article profiling Clutch and its founder, Kristen Farley, this article focuses on the packing party, specifically when the clutches are all created. Volunteers set up shop to fill small fashion bags with a special recipe with either pads or tampons as the main course. Four pads, two panty liners, one wipe, four pads, two liners, one wipe, I repeated to myself as my pile of filled clutches began to rise. Kristen initially set the goal of making 500 clutches on this day, and with the work of several volunteers, that goal was completed. The best part was we ran out of clutches before running out of any of the feminine products: tampons, pads, panty liners, and cleansing wipes. Thanks to all of the donations Clutch has received, leftover supplies will be carried over to the next packing party.

(Photo by Shannon Adington)

As soon as one walks through the doors, you can feel the collective energy. Nothing but supportive people who want to help the community were in that room. Even before the official packing began, everyone was mingling and getting to know one another. From all ages, races, and genders, no matter the background, everyone had one uniting factor: giving back to their local community (but also the cheese platter, everyone loves a good cheese platter). The packing party began with Kristen giving a speech that I saw her writing five minutes before she had to present. As touched on in my previous article, Kristen announced Clutch has become an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization as of a few days prior to the packing party! With this new status, Clutch will be able to apply for grants in the future as a way to further their outreach.

(Photo by Shannon Adington)

When I was able to catch Kristen for a moment, she had a message that accurately summed up the entirety of Clutch, “Just find a way to get involved with your community. Just help someone- I don’t care who, just help someone.” I thought a lot about this statement as the packing party dwindled down with the clutches full and volunteers beginning to leave. Any impact, no matter how big or small, is still an impact on someone. It doesn’t have to be creating your own nonprofit organization like Kristen; it can be shoving a bouquet of tampons in Kristen’s hands in the middle of class. Maybe it’s not walking past the person who just fell of their bike, ask them if they need help. Any small act of kindness creates a positive impact on someone in this world. At times like these, a little kindness can make the biggest difference.