Happy Spring! We are excited to share with you our continuing work to celebrate moon times with dignity.
Some of our big news is that we received permission to post a lovely period tracker – in paper form – to our website. It can now be downloaded and printed from our Period Education page, where we also provide tips on using the tracker. We are excited that school administrators and counselors can now print and distribute paper period trackers to the students for their personal use and that anyone with access to our page now has a paper tracker they can use to track their moon time.
In other big news, I recently shared on the nationally-distributed podcast, Choose to Be Curious, The Kwek Society’s origin story, and spoke about our ongoing work to celebrate periods with dignity. The podcast just dropped, and I love how it turned out — you can hear it here. Also, we continue to add new partner schools and organizations in the United States and Canada while supporting all our existing partners (over 100 now!).
Can you step up and help us do even more? We can use your support with funding, donations of pads or tampons, a referral to a school or community organization with a significant Indigenous population in need of period care, or moon time bags you sew using the pattern on our website. Sharing this newsletter and our work with your networks will be a big help too. To date, the power of our supporters has been our jet fuel. Let’s end period poverty and achieve menstrual equity, together!
Bama pi (until later),
Eva Marie Carney
Founder + Executive Director
Paper-Based Moon Time (Period) Tracker
Ignacio Middle School
McKayla and Gia, the young kwe’k behind Her Drive, with Kwek Society products.
McKayla restocking Ignacio Middle School restroom with Kwek Society supplies.
We are excited to tell you about the efforts of Gia Mendoza and McKayla Red, student-activists at Ignacio Middle School. They call their initiative “Her Drive.”
“I … began thinking of making the Her Drive an actual thing when I realized … I can help the younger generation with this problem. … I used to be so insecure about being a young woman with a period. I then realized most women have periods, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Our bodies are such unique temples, and we should be confident in ourselves,” Mendoza said.
The Kwek Society has partnered with Ignacio Middle School since March 2022 after Gia asked her school counselor to contact us about supplying the school bathrooms with period supplies and make Her Drive a reality. McKayla began helping Gia sort the products and fill the bathrooms this year as a sixth grader, after Gia needed more help. McKayla has received good feedback from her classmates and realizes they all face similar problems when it comes to obtaining period supplies.
McKayla tells us that it’s important to have these items available since some students don’t have what they need, and for others, their periods “just happen,” and students aren’t prepared at that moment.
Their counselor, Carmen Godac, reports that providing period supplies in the bathrooms has been great for the students because some students can’t afford the products and others aren’t comfortable asking for them.
“Some of our younger students, they’re shy when it comes to even asking for these items” during the school day, and not having to talk to the front desk or find the school counselor, gives students confidence – “These items are just right there for them,” Godac continued.
We are happy to report that we will be sending more period care items to Ignacio Middle School in May to ensure that its students can take home all the supplies that they might need over summer break.
Pads Across America and Be Prepared Period
In February Pads Across America awarded us almost $7,000 to buy pads. Next month, we will be turning these funds into almost 40,000 organic pads purchased from our friends at Be Prepared Period. We love BPP’s period products as well as the menstrual resources and support its founder Tara Bruley offers through BPP’s website.
Pads Across America is a new funder for us. We hope to receive additional annual grants from them. BPP, for years now, has supported us by providing discounts on its period care items. We appreciate the product quality and the speed and reliability of BPP’s invoicing and shipping. We also admire Tara for embedding philanthropy into her business plan through a donation program for menstruators in need.
Tara talks about our partnership in this video. We’d love for you to contact Tara about conducting with your colleagues and friends an online BPP donation program for us!
Susannah (Susie) Howard
Susie Howard has served on The Kwek Society Board of Directors since June 2021. She is one of our youngest members. She initially interned with us from August 2020 to May 2021, helping us track donations and thank donors. Susie is a citizen of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation (CPN). She grew up and still lives in Vermont.
After graduating from Smith College in 2019, Susie joined the inaugural Sloan Indigenous Graduate Partnership cohort to earn her Master of Science degree in environmental science at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. There, she studied the opportunities for cultural revitalization of Potawatomi plant knowledge in the wake of climate change. Susie was able to work with Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer, a fellow ecologist and CPN citizen who so many know from reading or listening to her beautiful book, Braiding Sweetgrass.
Because Susie had to conduct much of her research remotely due to the pandemic, she was excited when presented with the opportunity to join the blossoming community of Kwek Society leadership and supporters. She has cherished the chance to meet more like-minded folks and support our work to end period poverty and lift up Indigenous voices.
Susie now works at the Upper Valley Land Trust as a conservation project manager, helping landowners protect their working fields and forests for future generations. She recently completed the Indigenous Leadership Program at Arizona State University, and she serves as a trustee for the Thetford Historical Society, assisting in the restoration and rehabilitation of their Barn Museum. In her spare time, Susie is an avid reader and heirloom gardener, and she greatly enjoys her adventures to bookstores, museums, botanic gardens, and conservation areas.
The Kwek Society, incorporated in Virginia, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (EIN # 82-4369803). Donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Our financial statement is available on written request from the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Office of Charitable and Regulatory Programs, PO Box 1163, Richmond, Virginia 23218. Our Candid/Guidestar report can be found here.
It’s now even easier to support us! We’ve updated our How to Help page to provide links to new ways to give to us, whether one-time or monthly, including by GooglePay and Venmo. We are grateful for each and every donation!
Give a review.