From 4-H and youth group to Junior League and Habitat for Humanity, being part of a giving community has been a constant and rewarding extension of who we are. Yet as our schedules became busier, carting food, personal hygiene supplies, books, or 'gently used' items for a community drop-off fell further down our To-Do lists.
Meanwhile, the issue of women having inadequate access to feminine care products was gaining international attention. The issue highly resonated with us as women, as sisters, and as community partners. We didn't have to look far to find that there are needs within our own communities.
"Helping others is a way we help ourselves." Oprah Winfrey
Given that most of our daily conveniences have gone online, we knew that there MUST be a way to automate and ease the act of donating products. After some early brainstorm sessions, we took a deep breath and turned the corner to launch our first 28 Days Project in May 2016.
Our goal was to collect enough feminine products to provide high school and middle school girls in need with summer packets to cover the 3 months away from school.
Through the generosity of our donors, we quickly collected enough products to supply the schools plus other non-profit organizations that support women – these are now our Partners.
Life is a highway, and I am indeed riding it all day long. From family and work to activities and volunteer commitments, downtime is rare. Yet within that fast pace comes the energy and ideas to combine my corporate tech experience in diversity, culture and recruitment with the ambition to create a brand of volunteerism that can impact the lives and futures of women in need. My virtual and in-person social networks contribute to building important relationships with our 28 Days distribution partners. “Do what you love, love what you do.” The rest really does follow.
Brainstorming is my hobby! Best ideas come during a morning run, commuting to work, or cooking dinner. I’m inspired by my friends, family, and those who seek to take risks and make change. My career path led me to work at some of the most innovative companies (Yahoo, Real Simple, Gilt Groupe, Amazon) with amazingly talented people. It’s those experiences and the skills I learned along the way that give me the confidence to turn an idea and funnel my passions into 28 Days.
What does a 40-something man know about the struggles women go through as a result of their menstrual cycle? Absolutely nothing, of course. That was until I got involved in the 28 Days Project. What began with a request for some help from two of the most special women I know (my wife and my sister-in-law) turned into a passion for a cause that I never knew I had. My 20+ years of being an investment banking financial professional never prepared me for what it would be like working with an early-stage non-profit. It has been a wonderful ride so far and I wouldn't change it for the world. I am inspired and humbled on a daily basis to be associated with 28 Days and the three amazing women behind it. While I am proud of what we have accomplished so far as an organization, I am even more excited for what we are going to do achieve in the future. With this team, the sky is the limit.
A tenacious problem-solver with a sensational sense of humor (if I do say so myself), I left retail to leave a kinder, more community-focused footprint on the world. Women, especially those in need, face enough challenges each day. A lack of access to feminine protection should not be one of them. I am thrilled to be a part of the 28 Days Project because it helps women and girls focus on what they want to do, not on their dot.
The first movie to use the word vagina, "The Story of Menstruation," was produced by Walt Disney in 1946.