In December of 2021, Jumpspark’s Strong Women Fellowship gathered at The Weber School to meet with Lily Brent, the Executive Director of Repair the World, and Emma Burns, who is serving as a fellow with the organization. Repair the World is an Atlanta-based, Jewish organization focused on delivering equity to communities and people affected by poverty, food insecurity, and unequal accessibility to education. The organization has taken up a multitude of causes ranging from period poverty, to hurricane relief and The One America Movement, which serves to unite the nation to combat the growth in polarization over many issues.
The group began with an activity where sheets of paper with statements were placed around the room. We were instructed to take some time to read each sheet and stand by the one we felt most connected to. The sheets read statements of advice such as, “Listen much more than you talk” and “Be aware that things you might take for granted might be scarce or unavailable to others.” Once each of us was standing with a paper, we went around the room reading our statements, introducing ourselves, and explaining why we felt connected to that specific piece of advice.
We then turned to the back of the room where tables were piled with period products. Fellows were asked to bring packages of pads and tampons to later pack bags with. As a group, we were given instructions on how to fill a period pack and began organizing the supplies into bags which would later be distributed to those suffering from menstrual inequality. The period packs made during the event were donated to The Homeless Period Project, an organization with the goal of collecting and distributing menstrual products to cities around the United States. Many people with periods are unable to afford typical menstrual products due to its high price and inaccessibility within some communities.
This experience with Repair the World enlightened many of us on what we take for granted in our everyday lives. Before being exposed to the struggles of people who are faced with period poverty, I never thought twice about my easy access to basic hygiene products; however, I now feel the privilege of being able to easily drive to a Walgreens and buy whatever products I need. Many people in America and around the world either cannot afford or do not have access to basic human necessities. Fortunately, there are many organizations, like Repair the World, who collect hygiene and menstrual products and create packages to support donation drives. As a community, we need to stand with and support our neighbors in any way we can; whether it’s through donating, volunteering, or advocating for political change, there is always a way to help.