Local ambassadors for the worldwide charity #happyperiod are collecting and distributing menstrual hygiene kits to anyone in need.
Tanya Roy, Adams, said the objective of the charity is to collect and redistribute period products to places that can make them available to women at no cost.
“During COVID lockdown, we were distributing what we collected to blessing boxes in the Watertown area,” Ms. Roy said.
The volunteers are now taking part in a holiday donation drive for distribution to food pantries, shelters and schools to help supply free menstruation products through the winter.
The sites in Jefferson County where the products can be dropped off at special collection boxes:
Kinney Drugs’ Watertown locations on Coffeen Street, at Seaway Plaza, State Street and Washington Street and Tops market in Adams. Products will be taken to the Community Action Planning Council and the Urban Mission.
Lewis County: Women’s Health Center at Lewis County General Hospital and Kinney Drugs in Lowville. Products will be taken for redistribution to the Lowville Food Pantry.
According to its website, #HappyPeriod was founded by Chelsea VonChaz and her mother, Cherryl Warner, in Los Angeles in 2015. The idea came to Chelsea after witnessing a homeless woman crossing a street while wearing blood-stained undergarments. After some research and talking to a representative of an organization that serves the homeless, she learned that pads and tampons are rarely donated and not required to be included in any shelter’s operations budget.
The initiative, now with chapters across the country, supports anyone who is homeless, low-income and/or living in poverty.
“It helps to close the inequality gap between women and men, as well as the inequality of the homeless, low income, those living in poverty, LGBTQ+, non-binary and the disabled,” Ms. Roy said.