For young girls, life can lead to difficulties as they mature into puberty and start their periods: all of a sudden, the need to afford menstrual hygiene supplies adds an extra burden to the situation.
There, unfortunately, is a negative stigma around menstruation, and not having adequate supplies can make a young woman feel embarrassed or anxious about leaking. It can also cause young girls to opt to skip school.
For example, Hanna often missed school entirely, using toilet paper as a substitute for pads because she felt too guilty to ask her mom for money for pads.
Period supplies, like diapers, are an often overlooked necessity that people living in poverty struggle to afford. In Puerto Rico, nearly half of the population nationwide is living at or below the recognized poverty level – yet the programs are not in place to ensure adequate supply. Period products cannot be obtained with SNAP or WIC benefits, and many people simply do not think of the need when making in-kind donations to local organizations.
The need is ongoing, every month a woman living in poverty is faced with difficult decisions on how to spend a limited income. Meeting her basic need for period supplies can help restore her dignity and confidence as she lifts herself out of poverty.
With period supplies available, she can have the confidence to go to school, work, sports, and so on — without feeling anxious or embarrassed.
Thanks for distributing dignity in Puerto Rico!