“Girls Supporting Girls. Period” is a service project launched in 2019 by a group of girls from Youth Volunteer Corps of Reading to highlight the issue of menstrual equity and advocate for it in undeserved schools and women’s shelters.

The concept of menstrual equity, or equal access to feminine hygiene products, refers to the notion that access to menstrual products should be a right and not a privilege. It is a considerable problem for low-income females and those in women’s shelters and under-served schools. Within the past year, one in four females struggled to purchase menstrual products due to lack of income. Lack of access to menstrual products can also become a significant health concern.

This middle-school leadership group is expanding the “Girls Supporting Girls. Period” project in 2020 by initiating a large-scale drive for period supplies this winter. Their goal is to collect thousands of period supplies to be donated to local women’s shelters, women in poverty, and schools in the Reading School District.

Collection sites during the month of January include Goggleworks (201 Washington St., 1st floor), Berks Community Health Center (1110 Rockland St., Reading) and the Reading Public Library (100 S. 5th St, Reading).

“I am so proud of these girls who continue to push this issue forward and into the spotlight as advocates for a topic that is difficult to talk about. They are leaders in their school and our community.” said Lindsay Sites, program director for Youth Volunteer Corps of Reading.

Last year, the “Girls Supporting Girls. Period” project was named the 2019 Project of the Year across the international Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC) network. YVC has more than 30 affiliates throughout the U.S. and Canada, with over 4,000 projects taking place each year, and only one project receives this top honor.