It’s been half a decade since GHGP has called itself an official non-profit organization. And actually, it’s really hard to put that number into perspective.
Most days, we feel like we’ve been talking forever about period poverty, the tampon tax, and the absurdity that we even have to talk about any of this. But then it’s also nice to stop and think that just a few years ago, we took a project, made it “official,” and have been an important part of the movement that is, slowly but surely, making real, systemic change.
In that time:
🩸New York, California, Illinois, and New Hampshire have enacted laws that mandate products to be freely available in schools.
🩸At least 32 states have introduced measures to eliminate the sales tax on menstrual products.
🩸New Zealand, Scotland, India, Australia, and Great Britain, to name a few countries, have enacted policies and laws abroad that not only have made a difference there but have helped spotlight the lack of leadership in the United States.
🩸We’ve donated nearly 1.5 million period products, are working with a coalition to write legislation in NJ that would mandate free products in school bathrooms, and run workshops that empower young people to manage their periods and feel pride in having them.
🎂To celebrate our 5th birthday… we wanted to highlight five people who have, quietly, in their own ways, made a tremendous impact on our work.
Tosin reached out to us in 2018 looking for some guidance in helping struggling families in her Newark, NJ, neighborhood. When we met up with her at her home to contribute menstrual products to what turned out to be an enormous personal project to fill gift bags with items for struggling young women, we were just blown away by her efforts and her story. In 2016, Tosin moved to the US from Nigeria with big dreams but not a lot of support. Nevertheless, she has, from the start, dedicated herself to uplifting vulnerable women and girls. With a small network of young professional women, she frequently runs events at her church and at shelters to talk about domestic violence, the importance of education, and self-worth. We have partnered with Tosin on many events, watching her lead songs in her church, giving heart-breaking testimonials in shelters, and celebrating the young people she serves. Her enthusiasm for achievement amazes us: she is about to earn her MBA, and will next pursue an advanced nursing degree, all while raising a young son and working full-time. Also, she is just the loveliest person, and we are grateful for the chance to support her awesomeness.
Jodi Katz runs a company she founded, is a podcast host, a community volunteer, and a mom/wife who, from where we sit, brings her A-game to it all. When she first heard of the work of GHGP, before it was really even a thing, she reached out and wanted to be a part of it. She has been generous in every way, mentoring Emma and Quinn on how to take their ideas and turn them into real campaigns. She worked with the girls, at ages 12 and 15, exactly how you’d imagine a new boss would treat young employees at an ad agency: with respect, appreciation for what they brought to the table, and excitement for what they might achieve together. It wasn’t a tough choice for our board to bring her on as part of the team, and we are thrilled about what is on the horizon with Jodi’s expertise, support, and love.
Jodi and Elise goofing around before taping an episode of “Where Brains Meet Beauty”™️ podcast
Annette contributed to our original GoFundMe campaign in 2016. After a few regular donations, whoever saw the account first would excitedly shout through the house, “Another from Annette!” Though her deposits came monthly, we were a brand new organization with no expectation that anyone was really following our work, let alone sustaining it. Each and every donation was thrilling.
As we do with all donors, we write a personal email with each donation, and in time we share stories back and forth with Annette and have gotten to love hearing about her trips to visit family and how she is faring through the pandemic. She has watched the girls grow from middle school to high school to college and follows along like an extra grandparent. And while Annette is a real person, she represents to us all of the supporters who have made a commitment to always be there. As a volunteer, family-founded organization, there is just no way to say an adequate thank you for that. To Annette and also James, Carolyn, Helen, Dorcas, Heather, Lee, Diane, Elizabeth, Jessica, Michelle, and Lucy… you are so special to us.
Thank you. ❤️
The OG GHGP team is a small one, with “girls” Emma and Quinn, along with their co-founder and mom, Elise, at the forefront. But all along, dad/husband Rick has been filing documents, creating tax receipts, loading/unloading more than a million pads/tampons, and being the sounding board for every one of the zillion decisions that come with starting and running an organization. More than anything, we are grateful to him for becoming comfortable in talking about period poverty and advocating with words and deeds on behalf of everyone. This may not have been his idea, but he has embraced the work wholeheartedly with love and joy, and when he talks about it with others, it goes so far in helping to break the stigma that sadly comes along with periods, a completely natural bodily function.
Karyn is not a fan of the limelight. But we’re mentioning her here anyway because she is so often the unheralded hero behind so, so, so much good work. Karyn has been the diaper and menstrual product manager at a food pantry near our HQ and, over the years, has seen the need for products skyrocket. Karyn works tirelessly, along with an incredible team, to make sure that nearly 500 families in our surrounding community have all the nutrition essentials they need. But also diapers, pads, tampons, clothes, books, medical support, social work assistance, and anything they can manage to care for others with respect and dignity. Karyn, of course, is representative of so many who has stepped up to serve communities in need. But she, herself, is kind, generous, dedicated, and wonderful and is deserving of celebration. 🎉Karyn’s work has ensured that nearly 500 families have had menstrual products for the last five years
Here’s to all of these heroes and many, many more years serving people in this meaningful way! 🥂