WOMEN

How Three Young Feminists Are Helping Homeless Women Get Something They Really Need

04/30/2015 10:16 am ET | Updated May 07, 2015

Periods suck. Periods when you can't afford a tampon and don't have access to a clean bathroom or a place to shower? Unimaginable -- but reality for some. Three feminist Instagrammers want to change that.

This week, Colvin Kuhn, who runs the Instagram account @ms.notyourwifey, Mclaren Behrendt (@generationofwomen) and Sidney Hood (@foreverforthegirls) are launching Period Packages, a project that will provide homeless women with sanitary products that they often desperately need.

Imagine wondering when your next meal will be, or how you are going to clothe your children, or where you are going to sleep at night. And then imaging getting your period. Homeless women struggle to find the resources to properly manage menstruation. It can be messy and horrible for women during this time, not to mention embarrassing because of societies taboo outlook on periods, which is why this issue is so overlooked when dealing with the homeless population. My girlfriends over at @generationofwomen and @foreverforthegirls and I are all teaming up on a project called "Period Presents for People in Need." We are making packages with tampons, pads, sans try wipe, chocolate, Midol and more for homeless women around the San Francisco Bay Area. Please repost or donate to our cause by clicking on the link in the bio!

A photo posted by 🙅🏼Not your wifey (@ms.notyourwifey) on

"Through the online community we have learned about so many struggles and issues that we previously weren't educated on, the homeless period being one of them," Behrendt told The Huffington Post. "It was something we had never thought about, but decided was easy to help with."

The trio learned about the struggles homeless women face while menstruating, and decided to create packages for women in their area. Kuhn launched a GoFundMe page for Period Packages, which will begin distributing parcels this week.

"We are designing packs with tampons, pads, panty liners, sanitary wipes, and a little extra TLC (candies, mouthwash, lotion) basically anything we can find/afford that we think could be useful," Behrendt told HuffPost.

Their goal is similar to that of Distributing Dignity, an organization that donates sanitary pads, tampons and bras to a homeless shelter in Camden, NJ. Joanie Balderstone and Rebecca McIntire, who founded the organization, estimate that they have donated thousands of tampons and pads to women in need.

The women behind Period Packages hope that they will raise more awareness about how difficult homeless women find having their periods, and also tackle the stigma surrounding menstruation in general.

"The problem is that periods are still so taboo which makes it hard to get people really imagine what these women are forced to experience every month," Hood told HuffPost. "Our goal is to alleviate some of the discomfort that comes along with your period and help women feel more comfortable by giving them a convenient package that will allow them to properly care for themselves during 'that time of the month.'"

Learn more about Period Packages here.

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