In 1969, at the age of 72 and after 54 years in the film business, legendary Hollywood actress Ruth Gordon was awarded her first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her harrowing performance in the horror classic “Rosemary’s Baby.” When her name was called, Gordon proudly walked to the podium in a beautiful pink dress and said, “I can’t tell you how encouraging a thing like this is.” The audience laughed and then burst into applause. In that moment, they all understood what it felt like to finally achieve a milestone after years of hard work. At She Supply, we understand that too.
Last year on January 18, after six years of service collecting and purchasing period products and undergarments to give to women and girls who can’t afford to purchase them on their own, She Supply distributed our ONE MILLIONTH period product in a special ceremony at The Family Place. It was a huge milestone for our organization, but little did we know, it was just the beginning of the monumental year ahead.
In February, out of thousands of nominations, our co-founder Kathy Meyer was recognized by M&M/Mars as one of 20 women in the United States “Flipping The Status Quo” by doing good in their communities. Along with recognition on the M&Ms website and video boards in Times Square, She Supply was awarded a $13,000 grant to continue our good work.
In April, we hosted 225 girls from DeWitt Perry Middle School for a private showing of “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.” By treating these young women to a showing of this acclaimed coming of age film, we helped empower them by taking some of the fear, stigma, and unknown out of their own life events and framing feminine hygiene and “getting their period” as something that’s both positive and a sign of enduring sisterhood.
In May, after a decade of effort by State Rep. Donna Howard, State Senator Joan Huffman, and thousands of women across the state including many of our own, the Texas legislature finally voted to eliminate the luxury tax on period products and diapers, paving the way for those living in poverty to use WIC, Lone Star, and food stamps to purchase the feminine protection they desperately need.
In July, D CEO named She Supply Organization of the Year in their Micro division. It was another incredible honor for the organization and validation that the work we’re doing is making a difference in the lives of women and girls living in poverty in North Texas.
And in September, groups of young women from a number of area high schools jointly collected more than 5,000 period products for our inaugural “Summer of SHE” collection event.
2023 was an extraordinary year for She Supply. But we’re even more excited about the year ahead.
As we enter 2024, we are on the precipice of collecting our SECOND MILLIONTH PRODUCT with the goal of collecting another million products in this calendar year alone. “A Million More in 2024!” There are still tens of thousands of families that need our help and we’re committed to keep fighting until period poverty ends in North Texas.
“There are more than 150,000 female-led households in North Texas living below the poverty line and nearly 2,500 women who are homeless,” notes our co-founder Kathy Meyer. “We started She Supply to fight the effects of poverty through service and friendship and to provide a sense of dignity and cleanliness to women in less fortunate circumstances. Every day in North Texas, there are thousands of women who can’t go to work, can’t go to an interview, can’t leave the house because they can’t afford to buy feminine hygiene products. There are thousands of girls who miss school every month because they don’t have access to or can’t afford period products. Period poverty is a real issue and for us. This is just the beginning.”
Thanks to donations and valued partnerships with the Alliance for Period Supplies and committed brands including Kotex, Always, and Honey Pot, community product drives, grants, and the organization’s board and robust team of volunteers, She Supply provides pads, tampons, and undergarments to help close the resource gap at nearly 20 partner agencies in North Texas including pilot programs in local high schools.
“While She Supply is grounded in servant leadership and friendship, at our heart, we’re about female empowerment and changing lives,” noted She Supply President and Chair Denise Angarola. “Unless you’ve seen its effects, period poverty is something most people never really think about. But for those affected, it’s paralyzing.”
For us, 2024 will be all about changing that.
If you’d like to make a financial donation to help She Supply further our mission, please: Click here.