An average woman will spend about 6.25 years on her period. For those that have fallen on hard times, getting the much needed feminine hygiene supplies can be a challenge. That’s why for my Capstone, I decided to give homeless women in the area a little less to worry about. My name is Kaitlyn Miller, and my campaign is called Go With the Flow because nobody should have to choose between food and tampons.
The inspiration for my project came to me when I was relaxing at home scrolling
through, of course, Facebook. I came across a video of a woman talking about how she deals with her period as a homeless woman in New York City. I was dumbfounded because I had never thought about this. We women have periods for one week every month. What would happen if I didn’t have access to any pads or tampons? I realized the severity of the situation and the reality that this is how many women live every month… So, I decided to do something about it.
My campaign, Go with the Flow was designed to provide homeless women in the Shepherdstown area with the necessary feminine hygiene supplies that many of us take for granted. My goals were to donate at least $300 worth of feminine hygiene products to the West Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness and to simply raise awareness of the difficulties homeless women face while on their periods.
My plan was to find a simple way to raise money that I could then go use to buy pads and tampons. I decided to use the site gofundme.com to facilitate the majority of donations and publicize the campaign through social media. The second step was to utilize the bathrooms on Shepherd campus to collect physical donations from everyday women. The idea was that women going into the bathrooms would see the collection bins and the poster accompanying it and would take their spare pads and/or tampons (because most ladies I know always have a spare) and donate them to my campaign. Lastly, an event was planned at Town Run Brewing Company in coordination with the Shepherd University Debate and Forensics team to showcase their talents while also raising awareness and collecting donations for Go with the Flow.
How Did it Go?
In the end, I was able to take the $277 dollars collected from GoFundMe and personal donations straight to the store where I purchased an entire cart full of pads and tampons. Along with the boxes of donations received at the Town Run event and through the collection bins in bathrooms on campus, I was able to donate over $300 of products to the West Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness.
This experience has been both rewarding and eye-opening. The world around us is ever changing and each person’s experiences are different. Many people told me when I presented my project that this is a topic they had never even thought about. Periods happen. They can be messy and painful, and they happen once a month. What happens when we can’t get the supplies we need? People, we can not keep turning a blind eye to problems such as these and expect to make the world a better place.
It doesn’t take much to cause change in the world, so I will leave you with a quote.
“We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” -Mother Theresa
If I were to give any advice to students preparing for Capstone or anyone looking to do a project it would be this; make your time and effort worthwhile. Do something you are passionate about. Find a way to help others and ultimately make the world a better place.
If you would like to see more of my work, check out my online portfolio.