During the month of September, the Ross Medical Education Center Ann Arbor, Michigan campus supported the #HappyPeriod initiative. Financial Aid Student Support Services team member Jenn Eger-Morris spearheaded the campus’ efforts to collect sanitary products, wipes, and undergarments for homeless women including teens and veterans. She learned about the organization from a friend who sponsored a drive in Northville.
Jenn shared, “I can’t imagine not having the needed supplies.” Cheryl Warner, co-founder of the group says, “the joy of giving and acceptance enhancing the lives of others is an unimaginably rewarding experience for me. Knowing you are improving the lives of women and girls by providing feminine care products simply because it is the right thing to do.”
According to their website, #HappyPeriod is a social movement of girlfriends with an initiative to ease the hardship of homelessness. The mission is to provide menstrual hygiene kits to anyone that is homeless, low-income, or living in poverty. This includes teenagers, those in the LGBT community, veterans, and the disabled. Kathleen Bennett, an instructor in the Medical Assistant program in Ann Arbor and a Ross graduate, encouraged her students to donate because “we take having feminine supplies for granted.”
In addition to collecting donations, #HappyPeriod holds monthly volunteer events to assemble collected donations into menstrual hygiene kits, distributing them to people living on the streets. Based out of Los Angeles, there are nine chapters across the country in cities like Atlanta, New York, Miami, and Toronto, with many volunteers providing supplies in cities all over the United States and Canada.
This organization supplies a model of giving back that enables anyone to get involved with the movement, from hosting a gathering in their city to setting up a donation drive for the homeless in their community. Angela Kendrick, a student in the Medical Insurance Billing and Office Administration program said, “we never really think of women’s supplies when asked to give.” Her instructor Jeanette agreed saying, “we always think of food, not the other items that people need.”
After receiving the call to action to create #HappyPeriod, founder Chelsea VonChaz switched gears as a wardrobe stylist 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.”