Ending Period Poverty

Updated: Apr 20

Potluck Philanthropy believes that in order to focus on your mental health, you first need your basic needs met. These basic needs are commonly considered as food, water, shelter, clothing, sanitation, education, and energy. Communities understanding the cycle of poverty and mental health struggles will help break down the stigmas correlated. Less judgment equals real progress. We hope to start the conversation about the extreme negative effects poverty has on mental health. The challenge to work on your mental state while fearing how you will have your basic needs met can be traumatizing.

For many, affording menstrual items is possible, but still a taxed, monthly cost to consider that could add financial strain to many including students, low income families, single mothers and those experiencing homelessness. Menstrual everything has been slapped with such a stigma that menstruators have done what they need to handle their period in the most hush hush manner. This has allowed a lot of suffering in silence for those who cannot afford menstrual items. Having access to the sanitary items you need to handle your period is SO BASIC. Bringing us to the Potluck’s mission to end period poverty.

The first drive for menstrual items sponsored by Potluck Philanthropy happened in December 2020, each girl on the Tulsa Salvation Army angel tree was gifted with a pack of tampons and pads. Helping young menstruators ask for what they want and not what they need was a concept the community definitely understood and supported thus sending us on our way into the next drive.. VDAY.

For VDAY 2021 we spread the love wider in Oklahoma, extending from Tulsa to the greater Oklahoma City area. We also sponsored a drive in Tampa, Florida, structured by Potluck and executed by a single amazing volunteer. These drives focused on helping menstruators who were victims of domestic violence. Local businesses supported our mission by hosting donation collection boxes. Financial donations big and small helped us to reach our goal of tampons, pads, and menstrual cups. Potluck focused these purchases on all organic and chlorine free tampons and pads. Along side the joy of donating so many items, the beating down on period stigma was a driving force to keep on.

Inaugural Summer Menstrual Drive 2021 was our next chance to get people talking about period poverty and thinking of how young menstruators deserve better than making toilet paper pads when they don’t have what they need. Potluck will focus our summer drives on schools and youth services. The support from the community made this the drive with our most donation locations, stretching from Tulsa to OKC. Businesses hosting donation boxes collected over thousands of items, some host got extra involved by offering deals within their own sales for those who donated to the drive. Sponsors featured on our festival style poster and donations via PayPal / Cashapp pushed us to our financial goal and we ended the summer drive with over 12,000 menstrual item donations to be made.

Potluck Philanthropy recently wrapped up the 2022 VDAY drive with 5,988 menstrual items to donate between Tulsa and OKC. We are so thankful for the support from businesses hosting donation locations and for every person who donated items or dollars. Also to each person who sparked a conversation about periods and how we can support each other better, you are a part of the mission too!

Total menstrual items raised = 44,632

Potluck Philanthropy’s second annual summer menstrual drive kicks off in July. Any interest in helping out? Connect with us through our contact page or email us directly.

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