Period Kit Packing Parties

An organization that helps people plan period parties to fight period poverty and educate people about the issue.

Photo of Sharanya Pogaku
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Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

Eligibility: Date of Birth

May 25, 2002

Help us stay in touch!

732-429-460 2 Clarendon Pl, Piscataway, NJ 08854

Website or social media url(s) (optional):

https://periodkitpackingpa.wixsite.com/home @periodkitpackingparties on Instagram @sharanyapogaku on Instagram

Date You Started Your Project Started

October 2018

Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Growth (have moved past the very first activities; working towards the next level of expansion)

1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Millions of girls around the world live in a state of period poverty - they don’t have access to the menstrual hygiene products that they deserve. In India, only 12% of women have access to period products and in the United States, the tampon tax makes it hard for women living in low-income households to afford pads or tampons. A lack of education also makes it harder for some women to gain access to the products they deserve and period stigma.

2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Period Kit Packing Parties works with student activists to guide them through the process of organizing their own period parties in their local communities. We know that period parties can make the community together and become educated on period poverty so we want to spread these events so we can help as many women as possible. We provide coaching calls, toolkits, email and flyer templates, and more to the girls we work with and show them what they should be keeping in mind and what they can do to make the process as easy as possible. So far, we've helped over 530 homeless women all over America!

3. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?

I learned about period poverty when my mom told me that she didn't even know what a pad or tampon was until she was around 20 years old and immigrated to America. It amazed me that products that I took for granted weren't so readily available for other women and as I learned more about the issue, I realized how big and severe it really was. It infuriated me and kept me up at night - periods can be annoying by themselves but not having the right products was something I couldn't imagine. I knew I had to do something. I organized my first period party last year in NYC. It was a long and hard process to figure out but that day we made 250 kits and I knew that I was making a tangible difference. Seeing the products get delivered was an amazing experience and I was hooked. Since then, I've wanted to expand my impact and I realized that working with other students was an amazing way to do so!

5. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

Our process starts by asking the planner to fill out an onboarding document which allows us to understand their goals and their logistics. We ask questions like "how much time can you commit" and "are you working in a team." Then we call them to work with them one-on-one and go through the entire process of what they should be doing and when they should do it (finding venues, finding partners, marketing, etc.). We have a master toolkit that includes all the information they should know, along with tips and tricks on ways to deal with other people or logistics. Then, we check in with them regularly to see how they're doing and assist with anything necessary, including advertising and contacting sponsors! The day of the Period Party is always exciting and we love seeing the impact that we're helping students around the world make in their own communities!

6. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

There are other amazing organizations that are working to fight period poverty and period stigma but the main difference between them and us is that we're more specialized on focusing on period parties and we guide people through the process of organizing an event. We are more narrow in our focus at this point but we don't leave people to figure out period parties on their own - we're there every step of the way to help them make a tangible difference. We have set up toolkits and templates, which are our biggest asset, and these resources are valuable to student activists.

7. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

The first period party I hosted was in NYC last year. It was a moderately-sized event, with around 30 people in attendance but we all worked together to pack 250 kits. It was amazing to see the bustle of the room as people passed period kits around while stuffing them with pads, tampons, face masks, deodorant, and other products - even chocolate! Seeing that I was able to bring strangers together to work and help others who are less fortunate was really inspiring and showed me that what I was doing actually mattered. The best part was when we got to deliver the period kits to the local homeless shelter - it was so cool getting to talk to the women there and learn about their problems but also see how grateful they were that we had done this for them. This is the memory that I look to every time I think about why I need to keep going and pushing harder. Since then, we've helped 530 women

8. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

Now that we've figured out our process and gotten into the routine of working with people, we're ready to level up. What we're focusing on most right now is publicity and marketing because we want to work with as many people as possible. We're working with teen-run publications to post about our work and period poverty and encourage people to make a difference with us. We're also looking to make partnerships with existing organizations that would be mutually beneficial, with us providing them our toolkits and human resources and them allowing us to be part of their network and work with their leaders. We're making sure to push our social media as much as possible so that more people learn about our organization and get involved!

9. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you?

  • Project Plan & Strategy

10. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Family support
  • Mentors/advisors
  • Donations between $100-$1k

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?

  • Asian (for example: Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Pakistani) (9)

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?

  • Communities of color
  • Religious minority (non-Christian)

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media
  • T-Mobile page or contact
  • Ashoka page or contact
  • Email

Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or T-Mobile, who was it?

I heard about it a lot through social media ads and emails but I was finally convinced to apply when I saw Nadya Okamoto post on her Instagram page!

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Photo of Shafat Khan
Team

Great insight in identifying a specific problem, and kudos to you for creating a feasible solution. Keep up the good work!