Community organization helps girls by providing feminine supplies
RIGBY — What started as a group of women trying to get girls better access to free feminine hygiene supplies is now a nonprofit serving various communities.
Avrey Hendrix created the “Idaho Period Project” in January. Previously, it was a community organization with women from the Jefferson County area. It has since become a nonprofit organization. (It used to be called the East Idaho Period Project.)
Hendrix’s goal from the start has been to create a 21st-century bathroom for girls so they can have access to the supplies they need.
“We have donated 83 dispensers to 32 schools in (the) east Idaho area,” Hendrix told EastIdahoNews.com in an email.
“It gives the girls some reassurance and feelings of safety.”
The dispensers have come with pads and tampons and have been installed in different elementary and high schools across multiple counties like Bingham, Fremont, Butte, and Custer. One of those schools includes Madison High School, which received 10 dispensers for 10 different girls’ bathrooms.
“It’s very valuable. I know that it gives the girls some reassurance and feelings of safety just because they don’t have to run home,” said Lesa Jackson, an administrative assistant at Madison High School. “They don’t have to worry about problems or issues that arise at school. They can just discretely go into a bathroom and get product that they need without having to pay for it.”
Jackson said it’s needed and believes it gives the girls peace of mind.
“I’ve heard from several girls when I go into the bathrooms to fill them (the dispensers) up or when they were actually being installed. They were pretty excited about it, that they had that option to be able to know that they can just go into any bathroom and be taken care of in that way,” Jackson said.
Hendrix has additionally started a period pack program, which currently serves 300 girls. The packs have tampons and pads in them.
“The dispensers help during the week, but there are girls that don’t have enough supplies at home, so those supplies will go to those girls. They will have a monthly supply at home,” Hendrix explained.
Hendrix believes she is making a difference, even though there are times there seems to be a big need.
“It’s kind of daunting because there’s so much need but to think that we are even helping just from delivering period packs from this last week, we are helping 300 girls,” she said.
Hendrix said she is working with a representative in the Idaho State Legislature in hopes that a bill will be introduced so that K-12 schools in the state will have access to dispensers in girls’ bathrooms.
If you are interested in learning more about the Idaho Period Project, click here.