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Junior League of Reading’s 100th Year of Service Focuses on Menstrual Equity

The Junior League of Reading is celebrating its centennial year and taking on period poverty as a concern of the organization’s community outreach through advocacy and events.

Oct 10, 2023

by Junior League of Reading

At the close of the 2022-23 Membership Year, members from the Junior League of Reading (JLR) were in preplanning with the President Elect, Lynsay Ladany. The President was preparing for her year-long role as Leader during the highly visible 100th year for the organization, and was focused on making an impact, and proceeding as the founders intended to continue.

Ms. Ladany met with her incoming Advocacy Committee Chair, Kathryn D. Rothstien, and Suzanne Cody, Assistant Chair, to discuss the growing grassroots effort that JLR had been working on quietly for a couple of years-menstrual equity. This year will focus on direct service, capacity building, and policy with an eye on advocating for change.

In September, the Advocacy Committee equitably distributed collected items from the 2022-23 product drive efforts to Governor Mifflin School District, Northeast and Southern Middle Schools in Reading, and the Youth Volunteer Corps Backpack initiative through Voice Up Berks. In total, 5,949 pads, 3,001 tampons, plus menstrual cups, period underwear, and wipes were delivered. Additionally, 44 menstruation stations assembled during the 2022-23 JLR Young Women’s Summit were delivered for direct placement in the bathrooms.

Next week at the organization’s General Membership Meeting, the Advocacy Committee will be hosting a special panel discussion for members about period poverty in our region. Panel members include PA State Senator Judy Schwank, PA State Representative Johanny Cepeda-Freytiz, Dr. Olubunmi K. Ojikutu, Chair of Pediatrics Department at Tower Health, Allison Spangler, 6th grade science teacher at Wilson Southern Middle School, Tasha Santiago, Director of Education for the LGBT Center of Reading, Ashley Berg, School Social Worker for Governor Mifflin School District, and Steph Kocher, Wilson School Board President.

Period Action Day will begin on Oct. 14 and the Advocacy Committee will roll out a call to action via social media where members of the public can donate to support the purchase of menstrual hygiene products that will be delivered to area schools and social service organizations who have contacted JLR.

The Junior League of Reading will continue to focus on equal and comprehensive access to menstrual hygiene products, and to the right to education about reproductive health, which both removes barriers to care and reduces stigma surrounding it. The organization is working to ensure that menstrual products are safe, affordable, and available to all people who menstruate in our area.

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The Junior League of Reading is an organization whose mission is to advance women’s leadership for meaningful community impact through volunteer action, collaboration, and training. JLR is part of an international organization, The Association of Junior Leagues International, which has over 295 Junior Leagues throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the United Kingdom.

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