Thank you to all our volunteers who supported the 12 distributions held throughout the city of Lansing this past year. In rain, snow, or sun, you showed up and distributed with a smile. Below are some recent photos from the December distribution (scroll to see all of them). We could not support this monthly commitment without our long-standing volunteers and the new folks who show up as well. We not only distribute the products, but carry boxes of food as well. Most importantly, we meet wonderful people who are very grateful for our services!
“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”
We aim to reduce menstrual stigma and increase access to the product throughout the country (and the world), not just here in mid-Michigan. On a weekly basis, we receive inquiries from folks around the country who are interested in recreating what we do here at Helping Women Period. However, our bandwidth is limited. If you or someone you know is interested in making a difference in their community, please view this great video to get started. Then, feel free to reach out with any additional questions!
On December 3, we held a Volunteer Appreciation Brunch. It was a time for us to take a few moments to express our appreciation for the many roles our volunteers fill in order to make HWP run smoothly. It was also a time for the volunteers to meet and greet each other. We are thankful and humbled by all you do to support us. If you were not able to join us, we want to make sure you know you are appreciated. To all of our volunteers: We could not do this without you!
Do you recall what it was like to be 15 and start your period at school (or 12 for that matter)? Raising your hand in class, walking down the hallway, and totally forgetting what you were just learning?
HWP has launched its annual #GivingTuesday campaign, focused on raising funds to install 15 free vending machines in area schools. Thus, “15 for 15”.
Please consider donating what works for your budget, starting at $35.00. The link is below. For every $300 raised, we can purchase the dispenser and a semester worth of product. Follow our Facebook page to see your donations at work as they are installed throughout 2019.
Amy Stephenson and Lysne Tait, co-founders of Helping Women Period, received the “Caring About Women Locally” award at the Inspiration and Influence Awards ceremony on October 18, 2018. These awards are presented by Capital Area Women’s LifeStyle Magazine (CAWLM) and the Aitch Foundation to celebrate women in the mid-Michigan area and to recognize women who are inspiring, impacting and influencing change in our community.
As Amy said, “We remain so busy focusing on the work we need to do and the people we serve, it was a complete shock to be recognized at this level in our community. There are so many people doing incredible things in our community, we are very humbled to be acknowledged.”
The first Inspiration and Influence Awards ceremony has identified some remarkable women leaders with distinguished awards in the areas of community impact, women’s advancement, medical research and awarded the mid-Michigan Woman of the Year. The Greater Lansing region is full of innovative women who are positively impacting our lives within the community. Winners were selected by a panel of Michigan-based judges from the Greater Lansing community. Look for them and other winners in the upcoming edition of CAWLM.
CAWLM is Lansing’s premier monthly women’s magazine intended to feature local women, businesses, nonprofits, events and more.
The Aitch Foundation is dedicated to changing lives through the advancement of cancer research while generating community involvement through sports and fashion related events. The Aitch Foundation has a mission to raise awareness of and generate charitable contributions for research into early detection of hidden cancers.
Sew Much More! is a group of sewers and non-sewers that gather to construct bags that are filled with menstrual products by Helping Women Period (HWP) and distributed to those in need. The group generally meets one a month at Okemos Community Church. Everyone is welcome — no prior experience is necessary.
In October, Amy Stephenson, Co-Founder of HWP visited the group to say “Thank you” for their efforts. Sew Much More! presented Amy with 75 bags that day. From its inception in September, 2017, the group has donated 545 bags.
On Friday, July 13, HWP co-director Lysne Tait and Be A Rose founder Christine Mwangi conducted a menstrual health workshop for 13 teenage participants at the Refugee Development Center in Lansing. The workshop was filled with lively conversation and excellent questions. Also, each participant received a month supply of product. The workshop was such a success, they have been asked back by the participants. Future topics include the construction of cloth pads as part of the on-going sewing circle held at the center. We would like to thank Ms. Erika Brown-Binion (and the rest of the staff)for welcoming us! Also, this workshop would not be possible without the generous support of the City of Lansing and the Zonta Club of East Lansing.
It’s Not Just Pads and Tampons
Many studies have been conducted assessing the important role of education in addition to the distribution of pads to girls. There are also organizations all around the word just beginning this important educational work as well. Right here in Lansing, HWP is committed to coupling product distribution with education not only through these workshops but also by distributing pamphlets (currently in Spanish and English with more languages to follow) at many of our distribution events.
More On The Workshops
Ms. Mwangi and Be A Rose (Grand Rapids) mission is to provide health and wellness education to underserved women and school-age girls and to distribute feminine hygiene products to these populations at zero cost. Helping Women Period intends to bring Ms. Mwangi back to collaborate with more organizations. If you know of a group that would benefit from this outreach here in Lansing, please contact Lysne at email@example.com
Thank you to Haslett Girl Scout Troop #30292 for choosing HWP as their Silver Award project. We have received countless hours of service from this organization and we are so grateful. Most recently, the ladies met us at the storage unit and counted over 9000 products (recently donated from an MSU student group). This process takes such a long time for 1-2 people. But, many hands made light work! The young women fully explored the extended motto, ” “A Girl Scout is ready to help out wherever she is needed. Willingness to serve is not enough; you must know how to do the job well, even in an emergency.”
They are absolutely “knowing how to do the job” from counting product to delivering it directly to those in need. Thank you, ladies and their adult leaders who support their efforts!