Williston Student Uses Service Project To Reach Homeless With Feminine Hygiene Products

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For Trinity Peacock, raising awareness about women’s issues extends past Women’s History Month.

The 18-year-old Williston Middle High School senior packs and distributes feminine hygiene products to those experiencing homelessness through her service project, Project Pink, which began in August 2020.

Pads, pantyliners, tampons, wipes, deodorant, a bottle of sanitizer and a roll-on perfume all get packaged into cosmetic bags. These bags are made available to anyone who menstruates, regardless of gender identity.

Pads, pantyliners, tampons, wipes, deodorant, a bottle of sanitizer and roll-on perfume all get packaged into the cosmetic bags. (Kristin Bausch/ WUFT News)

Peacock said the project was inspired by her younger self. Ever since she was a little girl, she always prioritized volunteering and community service.

“The goal is to provide women with the proper hygiene products because period poverty is an issue in America, which is shocking,” she said. “It would be helping those who would be otherwise using clothes and tissues and stuff that’s not really sanitary and also dangerous as well.”

In addition to period poverty, Peacock said the project aims to increase awareness of the “pink tax,” a term used to describe the higher prices for women’s health and hygiene products compared to men’s.

Peacock collects donations of these feminine products and places them in what she calls “blessing bags” to be delivered to local shelters once a month.

She said the name of the bags represents the positive impact she hopes to make on people’s lives.

“I hope that they can take away that there are people out there who understand that this is a struggle,” she said. “I feel like it gets swept under the rug because it’s only a women’s issue. It’s not like everyone’s issue. So that there are women that understand their struggle of having access to these luxuries.”

Peacock typically tries to add in an extra item each month. In March, she received a donation of roll-on perfume samples which she thought would be a nice addition to the bags. In December and January socks and hats were added to provide some extra warmth on cold days.

In previous months Peacock donated the blessing bags to St. Francis House, and this month she delivered the bags to Peaceful Paths, a shelter for domestic violence victims in Gainesville.

Stephanie Freas, the director of development at Peaceful Paths, said donations like Peacock’s go to two locations where the products are put right to use.

The first is in a pantry at the outreach office where non-perishable food, cleaning products and feminine products are kept for those individuals using Peaceful Path’s outreach services, but not necessarily living at its shelter. And second, the products are sent to shelters where temporary residents can use them.

“I think it helps because obviously, the victims need those items,” Freas said. “But I also think it helps that a complete stranger would reach out and want to support them.”

Freas said she admires the younger generation’s inclination to engage in volunteer opportunities like Project Pink.

“I feel like this generation is one of the most giving and philanthropic, even more so than my generation,” she said. “To see young people at such a young age that want to spend some of their weekend to help in any way they can, or they’re working with their parents to do something like Trinity has done where she’s putting together the toiletry goodie bags, it really is impressive. And it really does my heart good.”

After seeing the work Peacock was doing, Williston Middle High School’s guidance clerk and National Honor Society sponsor Donna Bennett asked if she’d like to run the project through the Society so its members would be able to donate the products.

She added Project Pink was something that “needed to happen.”

“I have a heart for anybody that’s in need,” she said. “When she came to us with this idea, I felt like it was something that we had never done before. So, this was a different project that I felt like would be good for us to continue to do even after Trinity’s gone to college.”

Bennett said regardless of where Peacock attends college, she thinks Project Pink will continue because Peacock has an innate desire to help the homeless community, and because “she’s just that type of person.”

Peacock herself said she will most likely attend Vanderbilt University to become a nurse practitioner, minor in business and double major in African American diaspora. She would like to take Project Pink with her to college.

“Of course, college is going to have a lot of connections,” she said. “I’m trying to expand it and maybe get into a more worldwide donation type of thing, maybe even make it to the legislative stage. And I would like to officially become a nonprofit, because right now we’re just a service project.”

In honor of Women’s History Month, Peacock said she hopes Project Pink can unite people and shine a light on the accomplishments of women.

All wearing their Project Pink shirts, Delores Williams (left), Trinity Peacock (middle) and Alexis Peacock (right) all hold a blessing bag in front of Peaceful Paths before delivery. (Kristin Bausch/ WUFT News)

“It means recognizing a vital part of our world,” she said. “Without women, there would be no one. So, I think it’s just paying homage to women. It’s all about women power movements.”

Peacock said monetary donations can be made through Cash App under the username “$ProjPink.” To donate items, people can message her via Project Pink’s Instagram where she will provide further details on a case-by-case basis.

About Kristin Bausch

Kristin is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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