FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LYNCHBURG, Virginia – The Junior League of Lynchburg (JLL) is poised to change the cycle of period poverty in our community with a new agency, the Period Access Distribution (PAD) Center. The program will facilitate collaboration between existing community groups and healthcare providers to create a referral and distribution system of free feminine hygiene products to adult women who are in need in Lynchburg and the surrounding areas.
In January of 2019, the JLL hosted Community Roundtables including City and municipal officials along with representatives from approximately 60 groups in the areas of substance abuse/addiction, higher education, mental health, children’s enrichment/education, adult health and wellness, and violence prevention, among others. Resoundingly, community members at the roundtables detailed the lack of cohesion amongst various groups, resulting in either duplication of efforts or service provision barriers that could be addressed with cooperation from different agencies. The roundtables also illuminated some gaps in service provision in addressing trauma, chiefly, as well as the financial empowerment of women and support for children and families. Ultimately, the data collected from the roundtables informed the next big project of the JLL – the PAD Center.
The PAD Center will utilize a multidisciplinary approach to address the emotional trauma of not having a basic hygiene need met. By removing a financial barrier for women, the JLL ultimately aims to eliminate period poverty in our community. In conjunction with the YWCA of Central Virginia and Gleaning for the World, the JLL will enlist help from referring partners in healthcare, mental health, education, family services, and more to enroll impoverished women in a subscription service that will provide a free monthly supply of period products to participants. Referring partners will be provided with triage supplies to respond to the immediate feminine hygiene needs of women who may enter their offices and facilities.
The JLL has budgeted $50,000 to launch this program in the Spring of 2021, which will include a paid, part-time Administrator position. The Administrator will work out of the PAD Center headquarters in the Town Center of the YWCA on Church Street and will help to enroll participants in the feminine hygiene subscription program. Individuals interested in the position may click here to apply. Funding from the JLL also will help to expand the program to include an educational and advocacy curriculum in 2022-2023 in partnership with other organizations that serve women in our area. Additionally, the PAD Center will rely heavily on grant funding, and with the generosity of the Al Stroobants Foundation, $7400, immediate response kits will be funded for swift distribution at the onset of the program.
If you or your organization would like to donate feminine hygiene products, lead a supply drive, or become a referring partner, please contact the JLL at PADCenterVA@jrleaguelynchburg.org, and join us in Helping Central Virginia Women, Period.