SAN LORENZO, Calif. - Three Girl Scouts from San Lorenzo have been creating "Period Packs" to take the stigma and embarrassment out of the menstrual cycle.
Troop 33811 Girl Scouts Haylee Ijames, Mariah Main and Samantha O’Brien came up with the idea in January, when they were brainstorming how they could make a difference in their community and also win a Silver Award, the highest honor for their current rank as Cadettes, according to the San Lorenzo Unified School District.
"We wanted to find stuff in our community we wanted to change," said Samantha O’Brien, an eighth-grader from San Lorenzo who attends Anthony Ochoa Middle School in Hayward. "Something I really noticed, both at my elementary school and at my middle school, is that there’s a large stigma around having a period. So, I’m like, ‘Oh, we should do this for our award to inform our community that it’s not a gross thing, it’s a natural thing.’"
So, the trio of Girl Scouts assembled "Period Packs" for newly menstruating girls. The packs are kept in the school office. They include sanitary napkins, wipes, underwear, flyers, stickers and messages of encouragement. The girls also have some extra leggings to hand out if a change of clothing is needed.
The district said the girls are working with Diana Maravilla, the district's health and wellness coordinator, to prevent vandalism. They're in the process of printing bright blue stickers for the dispensers that say, "Menstrual products are not to be wasted. Period."
They also created a website, mybodymyperiod.com, to help newly menstruating students connect with resources and provide factual information to all, boys included. The site even includes a Google form so visitors can ask questions and receive a response from the Girl Scouts.
"If this is their first time, they can go there and see, ‘Oh, this is where I need to go for help,’" Ijames said in a news release.
The girls have created an Amazon Wish List for the items in their Period Packs, a Venmo account, @troop33811, where donors can specify support for the Silver Award project.