September 16, 2019
Between school, friends, family, and extra-curriculars, being a teen can be tough. And for those young people who have started to menstruate but don’t have the means to purchase hygiene supplies, it's even tougher.
Worrying about having access to menstruation supplies causes stress and can negatively affect attendance and academic performance. So, United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County’s Women United donor network decided to eliminate this barrier to learning for thousands of students in 2019.
“‘Supply the Cycle’ is our effort to help ensure girls in our community have the menstrual supplies they need – it’s that basic,” said Stacy Williams, Women’s Leadership Council co-chair and senior vice president at Baird. “Girls in Milwaukee are actually missing school because of access to menstruation supplies. This is not OK.”
Each year, Women United chooses a call to action for the community to positively impact the lives of women and girls. This year, they encouraged donations of menstrual supplies to create “period packs” for young people at Milwaukee Community Schools.
Volunteers came together to pack more than 1,000 period packs. Each pack contains pads and tampons in a cute case (see picture). In total, Women United collected more than 50,000 menstrual supply items.
Renee Herzing, president of Herzing University and member of Women United, challenged donors to reach the 50,000 number; when they did, she matched the donation.
“I was stunned to hear that lack of hygiene products was a reason for young women to miss school. It had never crossed my mind,” said Renee. “There is nothing more important for reaching one’s potential than education. I wanted to support young women in being all they can be.”
The success of the “Supply the Cycle” drive is one reason Stacy is proud to be a part of Women United: “The camaraderie and passion these women share around the critical issues in our community is unparalleled. It’s an incredible opportunity to be part of a group of strong women that gets stuff done!”
Women United would like to extend a big THANK YOU to Renee Herzing for her generous donation match and to all those who donated their time and treasure to make this effort a success.
Learn more about Women United and how you can get involved.