WATCH| Chelsea VonChaz is on a mission to help restore the dignity of homeless women during their monthly cycle. She began collecting and distributing pads and tampons after identifying with a neglected young woman on the street whose clothes were stained from menstruation.
People don't think about a woman on her period. They don't like to talk about it, at all.
Chelsea says it didn't take her long to discover that homeless shelters rarely get donations of feminine sanitary products and that it's not considered one of the basic needs covered in their budget. That's why she asks those who donate directly to shelters to send sanitary products instead of money.
After Chelsea began gathering donations from friends, she reached out through social media using #HappyPeriod. That hashtag soon turned into a social movement representing an effort to battle the stigma of menstruation and to help women who's needs are too often neglected.
#HappyPeriod bags include a month's supply of feminine sanitary products and underwear. Chelsea's volunteers hand out bags in person to make sure they're delivered and to allow for a moment of humanity between the giver and receiver.
This social movement has spread beyond the streets of LA to NYC, Buffalo, San Diego, Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco, Miami, Tamp Bay, Phoenix, Newark, Houston, St. Paul, Bridgewater and most recently in Washington, DC, Austin and Philadelphia.
There are other organizations with parallel missions like Free The Tampons, which campaigns for free tampons and pads in public restrooms. They're actively promoting the success of a recent move by NYC to do just that, as an example of how to proceed in other cities across the country.
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