James Petrovich, associate professor of social work, brought the idea for the Period Project to TCU after reading a Huffington Post article one morning.
The Period Project collects donations of unopened boxes of tampons, pads, and panty liners that are later delivered to homeless shelters.
Petrovich presented the idea to his students and colleagues in the Department of Social Work where he said students took off with it and the TCU community rallied around it.
“People have really rallied around it [The Period Project] and said you know this is important,” Petrovich said. “When you see a community like TCU really rally to help another community in Fort Worth, that’s what we’re really about.”
Donation boxes are left in various buildings around campus including Brown-Lupton University Union, dormitories, and Greek housing.
This year the project was headed by Petrovich and three other social work students: Hunter Fischer, Lasean Isaac and Elijah Herring.
This was the initiative’s third year and the group worked to promote the project more than ever. As part of their promotional efforts, they involved greek life, advertised on library computers, and put more boxes out. They also accepted monetary donations, which Fischer would use to buy products to donate in her free time.
Petrovich said they hoped to reach their goal of 20,000.
The students involved with the project said it made them realize how much people take feminine hygiene products for granted.
“I just go into my cabinet and take care of the issue, but these women don’t have that opportunity,” Fischer said. “They have maybe one set of clothes to wear any and everywhere…if that gets ruined by bleeding through, that’s the worst thing ever.”
Petrovich said the project doesn’t just give women feminine hygiene products, but also gives them the dignity of higher quality products and the choice of using the products they prefer.
“You’ve pretty much lost everything when you’re homeless…in so many ways you have ask for this or you’re given that…so to give someone an opportunity to ask for what they need when they need it and get something back that’s nice, that’s maybe what they had before…it feels like maybe it could be just a little moment of dignity for them,” Petrovich said.
This semester’s donations benefitted the Presbyterian Night Shelter, Union Gospel Mission, the Salvation Army, and the Day Resource Center.