Lorain, Ohio – United Way of Greater Lorain County is collaborating with Community Foundation of Lorain County’s Women’s Fund to expand programming to reduce period poverty for women and girls in Lorain County with an initiative called Change the Cycle. United Way has historically collected and distributed tampons and pads to residents and agencies in need through its Collect.Sort.Deliver impact initiative. The collaboration will significantly expand current capacity and increase program reach and available funding.
The Change the Cycle initiative will utilize the Stephen J. Ross Volunteer Engagement Hub, located in United Way’s headquarters at 642 Broadway in downtown Lorain, as a collection and distribution site. The initiative will also leverage United Way’s existing community distribution channels to get products into the hands of people who can use them most, while the Women’s Fund will facilitate and organize new period product collection drives and secure partnerships for additional product inventory.
“This is a big step for all our collaborative partners and the people we serve,” said Colleen Walts, marketing and engagement director at United Way of Greater Lorain County. “Our teamwork reminds me of the African Proverb, ‘if you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together.’ We’re thrilled to embark on this endeavor with the Women’s Fund because we understand the strength we have when we work together collaboratively.”
“The Women’s Fund is excited to collaborate with United Way of Greater Lorain County to bring these much-needed menstrual supplies to women and teens,” stated Michelle Barb, Women’s Fund president. “Having a steady supply of period products enables women and teens to go to school, to go to work, and to be an active member of our community without embarrassment or the stigma associated with period poverty.”
Period poverty is defined as inadequate access to menstrual hygiene tools and education, including but not limited to sanitary products, washing facilities and waste management.
“It’s been an issue in Lorain County for some time,” expressed Norma Sanchez, volunteer engagement manager at United Way of Greater Lorain County. “Period poverty is a relatively new term that most are not familiar with, but it’s been a well-utilized program through our Collect.Sort.Deliver impact initiative. Joining forces with the Community Foundation of Lorain County’s Women’s Fund will mean we will have more product to disperse and ultimately offer dignity to women and girls in our community.”
The goal of the Change the Cycle initiative is to collect and distribute one million tampons and pads to women in girls in Lorain County. To do so, collection drives and donations to sustain menstrual product inventory are essential to the initiative. For more information about establishing a collection drive or making a donation, please contact Community Foundation of Lorain County at (440) 984-7390.
United Way of Greater Lorain County leads community-wide innovation to tackle problems that most people say can’t be solved. In unforgiving cities, overlooked townships, and seemingly docile suburbs. We find every dollar we can to address them. But we are more than the fundraisers. United Way brings together over 150 organizations to power 10 community collaboratives. Together, we fight for the health, education, and financial stability of low-income working families who need our help in Greater Lorain County. We have one life. To live better, we must Live United. Learn more at uwloraincounty.org or by calling 440-277-6530.
Community Foundation of Lorain County is a public foundation established in 1980 with income from endowment funds contributed by individuals, families, businesses, and nonprofit organizations. The Community Foundation is an open and inclusive anchor institution that works to improve the quality of life for those living and working in Lorain County, Ohio. It responds to the changing needs of the community by making grants to local non-profit organizations and giving scholarships to help local students. In 2021, the Community Foundation of Lorain County received more than $6.2M in gifts and distributed approximately $6.8M in grants and scholarships. It ended the year with assets of $165M. For more information about grants, scholarships, or updates about the Community Foundation, visit the website, peoplewhocare.org.