Updated Sept. 6, 2017, at 1:30 p.m. EST: Several additional resources and ways to support those on the coast of Texas have been added. Thank you to everyone who has reached out with updates and information.
Since Hurricane Harvey first made landfall on the coast of Texas last Friday, it has left a path of destruction, including at least 60 deaths and thousands of people now homeless. While it's since been downgraded to a tropical storm, then to a depression, several days later, the rain still hadn't stopped. Do you know what else doesn't stop during hurricanes and tropical storms? Periods.
Women are disproportionately affected by natural disasters, and dealing with periods is no exception. When people are thinking of ways to help out, it's easy to remember food, water and clothing, but basic menstrual hygiene products often go overlooked. And this isn't confined to natural disasters either — homeless shelters are looking for donations of period products regardless of the weather.
At a loss on how to help people with periods on the coast of Texas? Here are a few ways you can help.
Aquí Estamos RGV & Neta Fundraising Campaign
Two organizations based in Texas have teamed up to collect monetary donations that will be used to purchase and send menstrual hygiene products to people displaced and affected by Hurricane Harvey in Houston and elsewhere on the Gulf Coast. All donations will be given to the Homeless Period Project – Rio Grande Valley to purchase and send the products to the affected communities.
#HappyPeriod provides menstrual products to anyone with a period that has a low-income, is homeless or is living in poverty. They are also accepting monetary donations, which will be used to purchase period products for those affected by Hurricane Harvey in Houston.
Update from #HappyPeriod Founder, Chelsea Von Chaz: "Our online fundraiser still stands as an option for making a monetary donation. Now, our call-to-action is for companies/brand to partner with us, willing to extend shipping services along with donating product. We're accepting pads, tampons, wipes, panty liners, soap and underwear... period panties and all!"
All purchases/donations made via #HappyPeriod's Amazon Wish List will be shipped to their ambassador presently located in Houston. They are also seeking more addresses/locations currently accepting shipments.
Homeless Period Project Houston
The Homeless Period Project Houston strives to donate feminine hygiene products to disadvantaged women all around Houston. With all the devastation Harvey has caused, the organization is focusing on getting menstrual supplies to those who need them. You will find links to an Amazon Wish List and fundraiser on their social media. You can follow HPPH on Instagram and Facebook for updates or donate via their Amazon Wish List.
Support the Girls
Support the Girls collects and distributes donations of new/used bras and new sealed packages of tampons and maxi pads to homeless women and girls across North America (and in four locations worldwide) and is accepting donations for those affected by Harvey. If you need period products or bras or would like to donate either, you can contact them at info@iSupportTheGirls.org.
The Golden Lotus Project
In partnership with the Young People's Division at Mt. Pisgah AME Church in Princeton, NJ, The Golden Lotus Project will be collecting pads, tampons, Diva Cups and underwear for people who menstruate affected by Hurricane Harvey. Items will be sent to the 10th Episcopal District in Texas. The first round of collection will take place beginning today through 9/10. The organization is aggressively mobilizing due to the severity of the disaster. For those who aren't able to drop off donations at the church, you may also donate via their Amazon Wishlist. In addition, when you make a purchase with The Golden Lotus Project for the rest of the month, menstrual hygiene products will be donated to those affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Period. The Menstrual Movement
New Jersey Period Project
Junior League of New Orleans
The Junior League of New Orleans has been in contact with Junior Leagues and Diaper Bank partners throughout the region and is mobilizing to assist them in meeting the needs of their respective communities. JLNO will accept donations of menstrual and baby products at its headquarters, 4319 Carondelet St., during normal business hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. They expect to send their first shipment on Friday, Sept. 1.
Donations can also be made via the following options:
Project Pixie was created to give homeless and low-income women direct access to feminine care and hygiene essentials that promote cleanliness and well-being. They are currently collecting donations of menstrual products for those affected by Harvey through this Amazon Wish List.
Cora – an organic tampon subscription service that donates pads to those in need – is giving 12,000 tampons to Harvey relief, and for every women who joins Cora this week, they'll donate another box of tampons in her name. Additionally, they're donating another extra box of tampons for every friend tagged in the comments section of their Instagram post announcing the effort – currently at almost 2,000 comments.
U by Kotex
Through its long-standing relationship with the National Diaper Bank Network, the Kimberly-Clark Foundation will contribute products, including U by Kotex tampons, pads and liners, to affiliate organizations within the affected areas. Kimberly-Clark encourages others to join in supporting relief efforts by donating to the National Diaper Bank Network to mobilize the delivery of basic need items.
Thinx is donating 1,300-plus pairs of their period-proof underwear to local Houston organizations supporting women and their families. And for every pair of undies sold this week (through 9/6), Thinx will donate $5 to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.
Passion by Kait
September is Sexual Health month, so Kait Scalisi — a sex educator who also sells sex toys — is donating 50 percent of all proceeds for the month to the Aquí Estamos RGV & Neta Fundraising Campaign mentioned above. Use the code KAIT at checkout for 10 percent off.
The FLEX Company
The FLEX Company is hosting a HUMPday Harvey Happy Hour on Wednesday, September 6 from 6-9 p.m. at the Flex Company office, located at 1221 Electric Ave, Venice, CA 90291. Get a drink ticket at the door in exchange for your donation of a menstrual product or bra (they're requesting tampons, pads, bras of all sizes including mastectomy and nursing bras). All donations will be collected and shipped to Support the Girls affiliates in Houston by The Flex Company.
Last week, LOLA expedited 4,000 tampons to Support the Girls’ Texas affiliates who are currently receiving donations to help Houston evacuees. This week, the company also donated an additional 30,000 feminine care products to support more women though Bethenny Frankel’s B Strong campaign, a charity for women in crisis. This donation will benefit an additional 900 female residents as they get back on their feet in the months ahead. Support the Girls is one of LOLA's nonprofit partners year-round via their giving program LOLA Gives Back (which has donated 500K products to-date nationwide to women in need).
If you are in the area and need immediate relief, here is a list of shelters in the Houston and Texas coastal areas.
Editor's note: There are other initiatives currently in the works, which will be added to this resource list as they are made public. Check back periodically for updates and feel free to contact us (email@example.com) if you have other resources for the list.