#WCW Chelsea Vonchaz – An Exclusive By Myla Dalbesio
Why we love her:
Are you up on your menstrual knowledge? Yes, you know the last time you got your period, how the process works within your body, and what days you can expect the cramps to kick in. But did you know that tampons are taxed as luxury goods rather than necessities in forty states within the USA? Meanwhile, products like Rogain and Chapstick are exempt, ostensibly because addressing male-pattern baldness is more necessary than helping women avoid bleeding through the crotch of their pants for a week. On top of that, tampons are not covered within the SNAP program, meaning you cannot purchase tampons with food stamps. This results in many low-income or homeless women having to go without feminine hygiene products altogether. Homeless shelters often receive donations of shampoo, soap, and men’s razors, while menstrual products are scarcely contributed.
Enter Chelsea VonChaz. After seeing a Los Angeles homeless woman bleeding through her clothes, coincidentally at the same that VonChaz was in the middle of her own cycle, she was inspired to learn more about how homeless women deal with their periods. And, when she found out about the appalling lack of options available to them, she decided to intervene. #HappyPeriod was started as a way to supply low-income or homeless individuals with the supplies they need to get through a full cycle, and help break the stigma surrounding menstruation.
A little flashback because we're about to be 2 years old in just 2 weeks!! Many wonder what exactly do we donate or what goes into our kits. Enough for 1 cycle, each bag contains pads, tampons, wipes, liners, soap, and underwear! Oh, and yes we also donate cups and reusable pads upon request! We're getting an upgrade for our birthday so keep posted! Don't forget to vote for us to receive a grant from @kindsnacks, link is in our bio. #HappyPeriod #DignityMatters
#HappyPeriod chapters run donation drives to collect supplies, then gather to assemble kits which are distributed to women in need through shelters or on the street. Each kit includes sanitary pads, tampons, panty liners, soap, wet wipes, and underwear. We’re so impressed with the way VonChaz has taken action, proving that grassroots activism can make a huge difference. She saw a pressing need and created a sustainable method to address it. And, she stuck with it. New chapters have spread across the country in the two years following #HappyPeriod’s inception, and groups now operate in locations including Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, Miami, San Diego, Chicago, and Washington D.C.
You can get involved with #HappyPeriod by donating to their cause, volunteering at a chapter in your city or becoming a fundraiser. No chapter in your area? Start your own! Follow them on Instagram for up-to-date information on events coming up and supplies needed.
Image Source: ModCloth, VoyageLA