A LITTLE HOW TO | Kit Assembly


We have two types of kits we assemble

  1. PERIOD KITS: 15 pads, 15 tampons, 20 pantyliners, and one pack of baby wipes (20 wipes/pack) in a reusable bag. These kits are specifically for homeless individuals with periods and are more often donated directly to shelters or centers.
  2. HYGIENE KITS: 1 deodorant, 1 toothbrush with toothpaste, 1 floss, 1 bar of soap or bottle of body wash, 1 pack of baby or sanitary wipes, 1 bottle of lotion, pocket tissues, 3 pairs of new socks, and 1 bottle of water in a reusable bag. These kits are used exclusively for our street distribution. During our street distribution we will give a kit to every homeless individual we meet and carry period products on hand for anyone who needs them.

STEP ONE: Collecting the items

When collecting items to put into our PERIOD KITS, more often we receive in-kind donations of everything we need for the kits with the exception of baby wipes. We almost always buy packs of baby wipes after our menstrual hygiene drives with the monetary donations we collected that night.

When collecting items to put into our HYGIENE KITS, it's rare we receive even close to everything we need for a minimum of 20 kits. That's when those monetary donations come back in. We'll scout for stores with the best deals on hygiene products and usually clean out their travel sections. If you ever see a cart full of baby wipes, travel lotion, socks, and toothbrushes at Target it's probably one of our crew!

STEP TWO: Selecting the right reusable bags

Tote bags, reusable grocery bags, gently used purses, backpacks, almost any kind of reusable bag works for a kit. When selecting our bags we look for ones within our budget, which is roughly $.60a bag wholesale, amounting to about $30 before tax for 50 bags. We search online, but most often buy our bags through Amazon. The only major requirements for a reusable bag is durability (the bag can't be so cheap it falls apart) and the bags must be clean, specifically if they are used. 

STEP THREE: Assembling the kits

During kit assembly it's essential to have a clean, organized work space. Products should never be placed directly on the floor, and it's good to keep hand sanitizer near by. The quality of the kits is important. Our mission is to provide dignity, therefore kits should be clean and products should be in top condition. it's very helpful to assemble kits one product at a time. If you're assembling 40 period kits- start with baby wipes, then pads, tampons, etc. and pantiliners should be individually wrapped or in ziplock bags.

There you have it!

If you have any further questions on kit assembly, feel free to send us a message on our contact page! If you're interested in hosting a donations drive please read our 4-step article on how to DIY Drive, and check out our FQ&A section regarding language requirements. 

HC SCAD ATL | Feature on Sarah Belle Miles of The Peach Coven

THIS ARTICLE ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON HER CAMPUS SCAD AT ATL. Read the full article here. 

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"In Atlanta, it’s easy to forget that the person standing on the street corner asking for a little help has a story and a name. It’s easy to ignore their backstory and treat the symptom of homelessness with the bare minimum of food, clothing, water and a place to sleep. Recently, Founder and President of The Peach Coven Sarah Belle Miles unearthed another basic right of humanity that homeless women are frequently denied: menstrual supplies. This universal priority is such a no-brainer, and yet we often forget that homeless women are just that: women, with the same biological functions and menstrual care needs as everyone else.

For almost a year, The Peach Coven has raised awareness for this cause in Atlanta with donation bins, pad-and-tampon drives, DIY period kits and fundraising events to ensure that every homeless woman is able to retain her health and dignity every month. Inspired by this undertaking, we caught up with Sarah Belle Miles about how she started this charity and why art, activism and college communities are the most drawn to The Peach Coven mission.  

Emme Raus: What inspired your mission to donate menstrual supplies to women in homeless shelters?

Sarah Belle Miles: In March of 2016, I was on my phone one day feeling the itch of “I’m not doing anything with my time to better my community and my world, what is wrong with me?” Then I read an article about this organization donating menstrual supplies to homeless in L.A. and because I grew up in Los Angeles, it really resonated with me because I know a lot about the homeless population there. So I decided to get involved and did some research to see what Atlanta organizations, charities or shelters were doing drives. A couple would do it quarterly, but no one specifically distributed menstrual supplies every month of the year and so that became our mission.

ER: What do you and other Peach Coven members do to promote the cause?

SBM: Basically to get the word out I just use our social media pages. We also have flyers that I’ll pass out at events or put up somewhere. A lot of people are really open to contacting us though and they get involved by doing a drive and letting all their friends and colleagues know too. That’s sort of how we’ve done it and it’s been extremely organic. I would say we’re definitely a textbook grassroots group when it comes to organizing. Beyond that would not be us I guess.

ER: How much success have you had with The Peach Coven since its inception almost a year ago?

SBM: I think since we’ve started we’ve collected up to 60,000-80,000 products, and when I say products I don’t just mean the box itself but every item inside. So if it’s 32 pads, we do count 32 pads. As far as monetary donations I’d say maybe 2 to 3 grand tops. We don’t really focus on monetary donations as much, but when we do it’s great because it allows us to buy things that are harder to donate like brand new bras in a variety of sizes, brand new underwear or a ton of deodorants and shampoo. We had a great holiday season as far as donations went and by far the highest demand is pads. People also want to donate reusable stuff and that’s fantastic because I’m really pro reusable menstrual products. But we have to donate those to specific places because we could give cups to someone who has no idea how to use one. We will donate that stuff to live-in housing. I wish we could pass them out no problem, but it’s just not a norm of our culture yet and I think we can help change that.

ER: Are there any occult or witchy themes in The Peach Coven? Your name and logo hints that there might be.

SBM: A coven is a collection of women helping women. We don’t have to be all women but that definition is what we’re rooted in. We don’t identify as Wiccan and all of us have our own personal beliefs and practices. It’s pretty standard for a board meeting to consist of us talking business as well as burning candles and sage and having crystals around. The term “coven” also refers to how working in menstrual care is still taboo. We are giving pads and tampons to people and we aren’t traditional. So we’ve embraced that and that angle has opened doors to other groups of untraditional people who are highly intelligent, full of love and ready to help.

ER: How can collegiate women in Atlanta and Athens, Ga. support The Peach Coven?

SBM: The best way to spread the word is by sharing what we do, talking about what we do and trying to allow our work to become a more regular part of people’s live because that’s how we make it happen. It’s always on our radar to support the homeless community. Whenever I’m out driving, I’ll have water in my car and snacks. Keep in mind where you work and pay attention to the people you’re seeing around. We also encourage DIY drives, donating directly to us or coming to our events. For anyone who doesn’t live in Atlanta or Athens, it’s really easy to donate to your local shelter too. One thing I really hold dear is removing the stigma of homelessness because the second you start talking to them you realize just how special these people are. They are fantastic human beings who were short-changed, and it really puts it into perspective that this can happen to anyone." 

-Interview conducted and article written by Emme Raus

Sylvia Rivera & Marsha P. Johnson Day of Service 2016

The Center for Global Diversity and Inclusion at Agnes Scott College invited us to participate in their annual Sylvia Rivera & Marsha P. Johnson Day of Service as the featured organization taking an intersectional approach to service work! 

In honor of Trans Awareness week the Global Diversity & Inclusion team hosted a period product drive and assembly that allowed us to produce forty-three period kits for street distribution.

LGBTQ+ individuals are disproportionately affected by poverty and homelessness. Queer and trans youth are especially affected by homelessness as a result of lack of support from family, schools, media, and their government. It is incredibly unfortunate that when we do recognize and celebrate the lives of trans brothers and sisters it is too often a reflection on their lives after death. Our assembly was a reminder to acknowledge and pay homage to the activists who came before us so that we may create a more inclusive and just society.

The Peach Coven hopes to continue partnering with Agnes Scott to serve and support individuals experiencing homelessness while educating and encouraging our peers and community to get involved!

 

First Peach Coven Chapter: Athens

WE ARE SO EXCITED TO INTRODUCE OUR FIRST CHAPTER OUTSIDE OF ATLANTA!

Athens Chapter is operated by Andi, who is the Chief Campus Editor of The Black Sheep UGA. Over the summer, Andi contacted us asking how she could host a period products drive in her area. Her concern was though we've been consistently helping homeless in Atlanta, our hands hadn't reached outside of the perimeter. She wanted to help us provide period care for those in Athens as well. We absolutely agreed, and welcomed the new venture! 

ANDI'S TRUNK FULL OF PERIOD PRODUCT DONATIONS

Andi, with the help of her friend Abigail, collected 77 boxes total which would equal close to 2,000 period products. With some research they found Bigger Vision Of Athens, a winter shelter housing 4-5 women a night. The shelter Director, Andrew, let them know that Bigger Vision works very closely with The Homeless Day Services Center of Athens, and frequently share donations.

We Greatly encourage anyone outside of Atlanta who wants to open a Peach Coven chapter to contact us and we'll help you get started! With time, our hope is to have a chapter serving the homeless with periods all across Georgia. 

If you're in the Athens area, and would like to help Andi and Abigail with their next period product collection please email: thepeachcoven@gmail.com

Well, I Declare with Sarah Belle

THIS ARTICLE ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON AUNTIE BELLUM'S 'WELL I DECLARE'. Read the full article here

CAMERON ADAMS of ATL STREET FASHION

"Share an accomplishment that makes you feel proud.

Truly, out of anything I’ve done in my life, nothing makes me more proud than achieving what I have with The Peach Coven. I started this just because I wanted to help get some pads and tampons into the local shelters. I had no idea it’d blossom into this organization filled with so many wonderful folks, and that I’d donate over 20,000 menstrual hygiene items in these first six months.

What does being a Southern woman mean to you?
Being a southern woman means, to me, being strong. There’s this, in my opinion, unrecognized power in Southern women. I feel the idea of a southern woman is a pretty sweetheart, barefoot and pregnant. But really being female in the South, we are warriors. We’re up against all the oppression of society with the added blocks of living in a region that generally likes women to “stay in line.” I love being a woman in the South. I love it because I love the South and I think that culturally women have played significantly more important roles down here than anyone, recognized or not.
What is one change Southerners could make to improve our current culture?
There’s a lot of policies that need to change to help our current culture. If I were to choose one it would be healthcare and family planning. Services that places like Planned Parenthood offer should be free to any person who’s unable to access health insurance or living at or under the poverty line. Safe abortion should be more readily accessible to any person who needs it. Though abortion is legal in GA, trap laws make it virtually impossible for more than a couple clinics to stay in operation. I think with actually accessible health care our current culture would improve significantly.
Has there been a defining moment that set you on your current life path?
I think that many different experiences combined guided me to my current path. Probably most significantly is that I come from a very matriarchal family, and watching the struggles my family faced growing up as a unit of women really tuned me into the struggles women face as a whole. As far as menstrual dignity and rights are concerned, that came about because I had read some articles about the void in menstrual care and decided that’s what I was going to dedicate myself to. I already felt passionate about better serving homeless communities, and once I read those articles it just clicked for me- helping as many people as I can experience a safe and protected period is a part of my purpose in life." 

-Meeghan Kane

 

HOW TO HOST A DIY PAD & TAMPON DRIVE | Four Steps

Some of the most successful drives are DIY!

GIRLS WHO CODE DIY DRIVE BOX + DONATIONS

Our first drives being just that. Conducting your own drive is an excellent, fun way to connect with your friends, colleagues, classmates, and neighbors while serving the community. When hosting a DIY drive there are simple steps to strappin' down and gettin' it done from putting up the box, to dropping off your donations to us.

Our four step no fail DIY drive recipe:  

  1. CHOOSE A TIME AND PLACE FOR YOUR DRIVE: Here are some examples-  Have a drive in your office for a week or month; A night out to dinner or drinks with your friends, and everyone brings one donation; Set up a donation box in your class or school for a week or month; Instead of receiving birthday presents this year ask your friends to donate period products; Host a potluck or BBQ at your home and invite your neighbors to bring donations as well. Those are just a few examples as to how to conduct a DIY drive. Host it wherever you like! Whatever you believe will the best setting to collect donations with your friends is great.
  2. SET UP A DONATION BOX: A donation box can be anything from a clean laundry hamper or trash can, cardboard box, or any clean container that will safely hold the donations. Make a sign and decorate! Be as creative as you want to be. You can either simply write "Donations Here" or draw pictures, use colorful paper, glitter, write the name of your business or group, and whatever inspires you. 
  3. INVITE FOLKS TO DONATE: One of the most important elements to any donation drive is getting the word out. You can send an email, make a Facebook event, post on Instagram or any social media platform you use to connect with friends, and colleagues. Most importantly, this is what to share with them- what the drive is for (to aid homeless individuals with periods in Atlanta), what you're accepting (all period products, pads tampons, pantiliners, sanitary wipes safe for sensitive skin), when & where you'll have your drive (date, duration, location), where the donations will be going (all donations will be given to The Peach Coven, and we'll take care of getting the items to the folks who need it from there).
  4. DROPPING OFF YOUR DONATIONS TO THE PEACH COVEN: Once you've concluded your drive and are ready to take the next step in the donation process you can either- contact us via email at thepeachcoven@gmail.com and let us know you've hosted a drive and you'd like to coordinate a pick up, OR drop the donations off at that months pop-up donation bin location. Any drive resulting in more than 16 packages should be directly given to TPC and not brought to a pop-up bin location. 

Lastly- take photos! We'd love to feature you and your drive as thanks for your wonderful work and dedication to our cause. Any photos you'd like The Peach Coven to feature on our Facebook and Instagram can be sent to thepeachcoven@gmail.com

THANKS FOR YOUR DEDICATION TO THIS MOVEMENT AND GOOD LUCK ON YOUR NEXT DIY DONATION DRIVE!

JUST PEACHY

THIS ARTICLE ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON CREATIVE LOAFING'S FRESH LOAF. Read the full article here

ERIC CASH

ERIC CASH

Hygiene items like deodorant and toothpaste are certainly needed and welcome, but menstrual maintenance items are often considered “luxury” items (thanks, tampon tax!). Meaning, many Atlantans are left without a dignified way of dealing with their cycles each month. Periods are not an exceedingly enjoyable time for most people who menstruate, but the lack of governmental funding to help folks manage can make the regular occurrence downright miserable.

Sarah Belle and the Peach Coven strive to end that, arming the city’s homeless populations with tampons, pads, and liners.

Belle’s a very literal new Atlantan. Originally hailing from Los Angeles and most recently from Tallahassee, Belle landed ITP last fall. A few months into her new residency, Belle got the ball rolling on the Peach Coven, an organization collecting menstrual products for dispersal among Atlanta’s homeless population.

The Peach Coven started modestly, setting up a collection bin at Hodgepodge Coffee House, where Belle was working at the time. Bins started popping up at places like 529, Memorial Tattoo, and The Mammal Gallery; both for specific events and drives as well as more passive residencies. Once a bin fills, Belle explains she and other coven members get together to create “period kits,” its primary donation. Each kit includes a reusable bag stuffed with 15 tampons, 15 liners, and a full pack of sanitary wipes. “We’ll also just do bulk donations where we donate things in their original packaging, and that’s the same deal: I like to at least donate 500-1000 items total, minimum,” she says. Right now Belle and the Coven work most closely with City of Refuge but are building new relationships with other local organizations like Lost-n-Found Youth.

In addition to the crux Peach Coven mission, Belle says the organization is pushing to go legit as an official nonprofit. However, that kind of growth presents another hurdle: funding. “It’s like ‘Oh. You wanna be a nonprofit? Give us some dough,’” she says. Belle says she and the other Coven members are brainstorming fundraising tactics, including throwing events or starting a crowdsourcing website. From there, the goal is to get big companies like Kotex to start donating its products for the Coven to disperse.

Belle invites any individuals interested in supporting the Coven (before it’s legit nonprofit status! So ahead-of-the curve) to email her at thepeachcoven@gmail.com to join an email blast to stay up-to-date on future drives and other ways to help out. “But donating is the best way to help,” she says. “Because if you donate, that’s how we get stuff into the shelters. We can’t do the work we do without the support of all these communities and all these individuals that have been donating to us — because that’s what our work is about.”

The Peach Coven will also be hosting Dignity Thursday, a pad and tampon collection drive with a special DJ set by Kaitlin Turner-Simotics. 8 p.m. Thurs., July 7. The Mammal Gallery, 91 Broad St. S.W.
— Beca Grimm