Project Marilyn, a non-profit organization in Southern Nevada, provides monthly feminine hygiene products to homeless women and teens in need. The charity, which recently began in April 2019, was founded by ‘Aunt Flow’s Fairy Godmother,’ Wendi Schweigart, whose foundation was in tribute to her Mother. Project Marilyn was inspired by the desire for every woman to have dignity with her period. PERIOD. Feminine hygiene products are the least donated supplies with community giving.
“This project is named after and dedicated to my mom, Marilyn, who passed from cancer in 2011. She was an amazing woman who never realized her own power. She hustled and sacrificed before women were praised for doing so. I miss her terribly and work each day in hopes of honoring her strength, says daughter and Project Marilyn founder, Wendi Schweigart. “Our mission is simple; tampons, pads and hygiene wipes that are put together in a bag, with the quantity being such that it will last a women her entire cycle. So many other organizations are already giving “hygiene” items, such as toothpaste, toothbrushes and deodorant. We want to stay true to our mission which is to provide menstruation supplies only. We hope that by providing for this specific need, we can support other non profits in their greater mission to better the lives of women and teen girls in our community.”
Since delivering the first bag in June, which contains 15 tampons 5 maxi pads 5 wipes, to supply them for the entire cycle of their period each month, Project Marilyn now has partnered with organizations including, The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD), Salvation Army, Project 150, Refuge for Women, The Hoving Home, The Las Vegas Rescue Mission, Casa de Luz, The Shade Tree and Veteran’s Village and more. Additionally, Project Marilyn “popped-up” with The Just One Project, Pop Up and Give, Mobile Food Pantry at Wooley Elementary School and gifted 80+ bags for families and young adults. This continued relationships with the nonprofits will help serve their female population. The non-profit also recently participating in the United Way Day of Caring.
“My vision for Project Marilyn is to have our name synonymous with providing women and teens, in need in our community, with their feminine hygiene supplies each month. When you think “who is helping to end period poverty in Southern Nevada?”, you will think of Project Marilyn,” continues Schweigart. For as little as $5.00 a day, anyone can give a woman dignity with her period. PERIOD. People often donate clothes and food in an order to provide assistance but, rarely, does anyone think; what does a homeless women do when she’s on her period? The reality would horrify you. Women go to extremes to care for themselves each month. From straws with cotton to using fast food napkins and socks; when resources are limited the results can be tragic. When women and teen girls resort to using items for their periods that are not intended for such, they can result from everything from a mild infection to disrupting their fertility. This is not just a health issue but a dignity issue as well. How do we expect a women to get back on her feet when she doesn’t have a proper way to care for herself each month?”
“We are so grateful to the community for their generous support and wish to thank the following for donations: NDL Group, Inc., WHSAN, NJS Reps, Richard Harris Law Firm, Bank of George, IREM, Tary Insurance (Farmers) Las Vegas Door and Glass and Cragin and Pike and Veterans Village (also a partner). Plus, several businesses have volunteered to come pack bags, including Cushman Wakefield, Prologis, Brookhollow Group, Sun Commercial Real Estate and Sun Commercial Property Management. The support has been overwhelming and all of us at Project Marilyn are so thankful to this companies,” says Schweigart. ‘It make me so proud that in a matter of 6 months from launching, with the help of the community, we are fulfilling a critical need.”
Project Marilyn has also been named the official Southern Nevada Alliance for Period Supplies and partnered with the national organization, the Alliance for Period Supplies.
For more information on Project Marilyn or how to give or volunteer, visit www.ProjectMarilyn.com or follow on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/projectmarilynlv/ and Instagram, Project.marilyn.lv.