Alumnus Aïko Pickering has created MOnthly, a charity organization that aims to reduce period poverty in the Mobile area by giving away period products to populations that need it.
The latest action Pickering took to collect more period products was to place three boxes around campus. Those boxes are located at the back of the cafeteria, in front of the Burke library, and in Quinlan Hall. They will stay at those locations for the remainder of the semester. It is possible to donate “unused menstrual products and brown paper bags” which serve as packaging for the “period packs,” said Pickering.
According to her, the goal behind those boxes is not only to collect products to directly fight period poverty, but also to “educate” and raise awareness about the subject in the Spring Hill community. “It’s not talked about down here and people aren’t super receptive. I guess it’s just a topic that you’re not supposed to openly talk about,” she said.
As a former Delta Gamma member, Aïko Pickering partnered up with DG to place those boxes across campus. “Period poverty is an issue that many people are not aware of [...] What Aïko is doing for the Mobile community is thinking about an issue that is ever present but not openly discussed, and by partnering with Spring Hill College and Delta Gamma that awareness is being spread,” stated DG member Mary Catherine Watson.
Pickering moved to England after her graduation in December 2019 where she witnessed the works of many organizations fighting for that cause throughout the United Kingdom. In fact, according to BBC.com: “Scotland has become the first country in the world to make period products free for all” at the beginning of 2020. The same article from the BBC states: “There is now a local duty on local authorities to ensure that free items such as tampons and sanitary pads are available to ‘anyone who needs them’” in Scotland. Inspired and motivated by this, the Spring Hill alum feels that “we need something like that down here that is tailored to the South,” she said.
According to Pickering, the charity which will soon be officially registered as a nonprofit collected over $900 of donations and a whole lot of products. The organization and the support it is getting are “so much bigger than I thought,” she commented. Only time will tell whether or not MOnthly will keep gaining notoriety in the Mobile area.