2021 is a big year.
Things are opening back up. Life is returning to normal. And She Supply is celebrating a HUGE milestone.
The big 5 year anniversary!
To celebrate She Supply’s journey, we sat down with the founder — Kathy Meyer — for a quick Q&A.
Q. Congratulations on celebrating She Supply’s 5-year anniversary! Can you tell us how She Supply got started?
A. She Supply is the result of a conversation I had with a friend while chaperoning our daughters’ choir trip. We had time to spare while the kids were busy, and my friend shared a video about the fact that many women go without period products due to financial issues. We talked for quite a while about how difficult that would be, as a woman, to go without basic feminine hygiene every month. I mean, is it a question of keeping the lights on or buying tampons and pads? What a dilemma. We had no idea this problem even existed.
When we got home from the trip, we couldn’t stop thinking about it. I wondered how many women in North Texas, in Dallas-Fort Worth, even in my neighborhood – were affected by this? My parents taught me if you see a problem, do something about it. My friend and I put our heads together, decided to gather some feminine hygiene products, and donate them, just to see what would happen.
The need was greater than we expected! That was the beginning of what is now She Supply.
Q. Did you ever think your conversation on the bus would lead to what She Supply has become today?
A. In a word, no.
Honestly, starting – and running – a non-profit was not my goal. We could have stopped after that one delivery. But our original thought after the choir trip was, “How do we make an impact beyond a one-time donation?”
Once we realized there was a tremendous need and agencies ready to accept donations, organizing and incorporating into She Supply, a 501(c)(3), was a natural step. It has provided additional opportunities for collecting products and funding, allowing us to reach more women across Dallas, Tarrant, and Denton counties than I had ever dreamed of.
Q. How have you grown?
A. So much growth – both as an organization and personally. And so many lessons learned. We jumped out of the gate that first full year, donating 24,000 products. Since then we have grown to distribute more than 242,121 products in 2020.
And that was during a global pandemic!
We started with only a few of us – me, my co-founder, and our families who volunteered. Now I’m leading She Supply with a board of directors and staff, including people managing marketing, accounting, and partner outreach. I’m proud of the fact that She Supply is an all-female organization and we are all-volunteer; no salaries are taken.
Q. Are there any lessons you’ve learned during these first 5 years that surprised you?
A. Three things I learned quickly: First, there is very little awareness of the problem we are trying to solve. Meaning, most of us take having monthly feminine hygiene products – tampons and pads – for granted. It had never occurred to us that some women must go without due to financial constraints. When we explain this to women – and men, for that matter – it blows their minds. Plus, how many people understand that in most states feminine hygiene products are taxed as luxury items, which means they are not covered by food stamps or other government assistance programs? Again, mind-blowing.
The second lesson warms my heart: Our communities here in North Texas – that includes all of Dallas, Fort Worth, Denton, Plano, and surrounding areas – are beyond generous! When people hear about our mission to provide a sense of decency and cleanliness to women in need by providing tampons, pads, bras, and underwear, they open their hearts and their wallets to donate.
These people contribute by :
- hosting in-home parties to collect products
- organize drive-by events
- get their schools and churches involved
- donate money
- you name it, they’ve done it!
Corporations believe in She Supply as well and have donated money and products annually. We are thankful for all of our contributors; it’s so wonderful to have their support and encouragement.
Third – and probably most important:
Anyone can make a difference.
No matter how small your gesture might seem, or how inexperienced you may feel in a non-profit or giving environment, everyone has something to offer that contributes to helping others.
Q. What would you say is the best thing about being a member of She Supply?
A. Knowing that we are making a huge difference in the lives of women by easing one financial burden, simply by providing monthly period products. It’s one less thing for a woman to think about, allowing her to relax a bit, knowing her personal needs will be met.
One less worry, that she doesn’t have to make the tough decision to buy food for her family or purchase her own tampons and pads. In a way, our work is empowering other women to be their best – how can any of us be at our best if we don’t feel clean? That’s what She Supply does —
We help women be their best.
Q. What does the future look like for She Supply?
A. This is an interesting question. I’d love to say we are no longer needed because that would mean the problem is solved, yet that’s not on the horizon. She Supply will continue to work with our 15 partner agencies in Dallas, Tarrant, and Denton counties to provide feminine hygiene products for the women they serve.
We will continue to support one-time donations as our resources allow.
We will identify additional agencies/opportunities to help women in North Texas.
Currently, we sponsor a women’s high school basketball team that is predominately teens from low-income families who need our help. We are always looking for sources of funding, both from the community and corporations.
Q. What else do you want people to know about She Supply?
A. We are a great group of women of all ages and skill-sets who truly care about serving others in the community. We have a great time together as well. Going back to a comment I made earlier that “anyone can make a difference”, She Supply is currently looking for volunteers in a variety of areas.
Ideally, we’d like volunteers who can leverage corporate skills, such as :
- supply chain and
- marketing/social media
If you have these – or other skills – and would like to join us, please contact me at [email protected].
She Supply also has internships available for high school and college students to learn different areas of the business while giving back to the community, a win for everyone!
If you would like to help She Supply on their mission to provide a sense of decency and cleanliness to women in need —
Or if you would like to extend your donation even further —