For the 46,874 homeless women living in Los Angeles, menstruating can be their hardest days of the month. Yet for the average human being, we take pads, tampons, and diva cups, for granted. We never second guess where our next tampon is coming from--it’s as simple as going to the store and buying it. But, for the average homeless woman, the annual cost of $70 that menstrual supplies impose is far too much.
Inadequate menstrual supplies are something we couldn’t imagine living without; it hit personally when we realize how overlooked this necessity is. Honing in our our power to effect change within our community, we started Feminine Every Month (FEM). FEM aims to destigmatize the period while empowering women to own their femininity by providing menstrual supplies to homeless women in Los Angeles, CA.
We started FEM after holding a drive at our high school where we raised over 3,061 supplies in five days which went to Safe Place for Youth, a local homeless youth service center. Our community was shocked when they realized that women just like them struggle with this basic need. Menstrual supplies are overlooked when donating to shelters, we think of basic supplies such as food, clothing, shelter, neglecting to realize their ultra-feminine needs.
Seeing our impact, we didn’t see a reason to stop. We dedicated our summer to creating the websites and making FEM a reality. After a few long months, we finally launched our website-- www.femproject.org. FEM has recently pledged to sponsor 25 women at the Downtown Women’s Center (the only homeless center dedicated to serving women in Skid Row) for six months.
FEM attempts to bridge communities by getting a large variety of women of various ages to be proud of their period, instead of feeling ashamed while providing decency to those who feel like getting their period is the most emotionally painful time of their month.
Currently, FEM has partnered with Lead Like Her to host an event to create menstrual supplies kits filled with pads, tea, chocolate, and lovely notes for homeless women. Details coming soon. To stay connected visit our website, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram (@femproject). If you would like to intern, volunteer, or be on our event list you can shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MEET OUR TEAM
CO-FOUNDER AND CO-PRESIDENT
Isabel Fields is currently a senior at Crossroads School for the Arts & Sciences and lives in Los Angeles, CA. As an avid feminist and human rights advocate, Isabel has immersed herself in fighting for change. Prior to starting FEM, Isabel interned at Human Rights Watch and worked with Half the Sky as well as the Afghan Institute of Learning. Isabel hopes to change the way we talk about periods and provide essential supplies to the homeless women of Los Angeles.
CO-FOUNDER AND CO-PRESIDENT
Grace Westlin is currently a Senior at Crossroads School for the Arts and Sciences in Santa Monica, CA. In the past, Grace has participated with other nonprofits in the Los Angeles area such as The Miracle Project at Vista del Mar and 5 Gyres Institute. After learning about the lack of Menstrual Supplies donated to Women’s Shelters, in America and around the world, Grace was determined to start a forum for people to get educated and involved. Grace hopes that, ultimately, we can destigmatize menstruation and provide relief for women around the world.
Annie Myron is a senior at Crossroads School for the Arts and Sciences. After taking graphic design for four years, she specializes in studio art and illustration, most specifically with programs Illustrator and Photoshop. Annie considers herself a feminist and designed this logo, as a contribution to the Feminine Every Month, in support of women everywhere.