Community organization receives donation to help schools install female dispensers in bathrooms
RIGBY — A group of local women who are pushing for girls to have better access to free feminine hygiene supplies in middle and high school bathrooms have received a large donation to help their cause.
Avrey Hendrix started the “East Idaho Period Project” in January, which is a grassroots organization that includes about 15 women in the Jefferson County area. The group started with 10 women and has grown ever since.
“My goal is to have a 21st century bathroom. I just think it would be awesome if our girls grew up in a world like that,” Hendrix said.
Hendrix told EastIdahoNews.com that the Upper Valley Child Advocacy Center donated $30,250 to the East Idaho Period Project. Hendrix said the money will help provide area schools with female dispensers in girls’ bathrooms. Each dispenser comes with a refill of 500 tampons and 500 pads.
“The support has been so great. We are so grateful to the schools that have chosen to participate and support this for their female students,” Hendrix said.
She explained that approximately 30 schools will participate and receive dispensers in restrooms in the following counties: Bonneville, Butte, Custer, Fremont, Jefferson, Lemhi and Madison.
In February, EastIdahoNews.com reported on the Eastern Idaho period project and how Hendrix wanted to raise awareness.
Hendrix created two surveys for both parents and students to fill in and get data from all over the region. They hoped the data would help better understand what students and parents need and would like to see. One of the survey questions asked, “Would you like to see free menstrual products offered in campus restrooms?”
Hendrix said as of Monday night, more than 200 surveys were submitted by parents and more than 70 surveys submitted by area students.
One of the questions asked in the student survey was, “If your school offered FREE feminine products if needed, would that help your well-being?” »
Hendrix shared some of the students’ comments with EastIdahoNews.com.
One of the comments from a student at Rigby High School said: ‘If free feminine products are provided in bathrooms and changing rooms, girls would not have to face embarrassment or embarrassment to walk from the bathroom to the office and then back to the bathroom. We don’t need everyone to know we’re bleeding.
Another comment from a Clark County student said, “It would make me feel safer knowing they are there if I need them.”
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Hendrix said some of the comments were heartbreaking and encouraged her to keep working to bring about change in eastern Idaho. She now has another goal: to create personalized weekly packs for students filled with feminine hygiene products.
“We worked with schools. They have a registration form. Any girl who wants or is in need she can sign up and then she can choose whatever she wants from her pack and then with all those supplies we will make weekly packs and deliver them to schools so they are personalized. for every student,” she said.
In order to create the weekly packs, Hendrix explained that the East Idaho Period Project has launched a donation event that started this week and will run until May 8. There will be Blackfoot locations in Ashton outside of various stores that will have a pink container where community members can donate women’s supplies. Below are the participating locations.
“(For people) who don’t have access to (feminine products), if we can give them that, then their whole life will be better,” Hendrix said. “I just think our resources are our children and if we help them now, it will make our world a better place.”