Sixth grader starts project to provide free feminine products for school girls
A Carter County girl is running a project to support young women like herself by arranging free feminine products in public school women's bathrooms.
Ten-year-old Berkeley Smith knows one of the biggest challenges for girls around her age can be their bodies, and sometimes asking friends or teachers for help can be embarrassing.
She wants girls to feel confident, that's why she's calling this "The love. Project."
"Every girl goes through it and it is normal," Smith said. "And some of them don't have the right things."
That's where "The love. Project" comes in.
Smith hopes to end a stigma between girls and their periods.
"We knew that we wanted to do something very unique. And something that was honestly just needed, that we hadn't ever heard of," Smith said.
Smith and her mother are placing medicine cabinets in girl's bathrooms at public junior highs and high schools.
Inside are packages with feminine products for any girl to take free of charge.
Pads are on the bottom shelf, tampons on the top, all sealed with love.
Smith is a sixth grader at Zaneis Public Schools, so it started there.
Now they've reached eight others across the area including Lone Grove, Ringling and Wilson.
Each school will have a girl representative who will arrange drives, set up donation boxes and make sure there's enough supplies.
She hopes to lift the burden for girls to feel comfortable with their bodies.
"I hope that they feel really confident in that and that they feel helped," Smith said.
Jaysa Jenkins is Smith's teacher and said she's meeting not only a physical need, but an emotional one too.
"I especially love that she's found something where girls can support other girls and lift them up. Because sometimes that's something we don't see a lot of. Especially at the middle school age," Jenkins said.
Smith hopes her project will spread across Oklahoma, eventually the country.
She's proving you're never too young to stand up for big change.
"We want to empower girls, not only helping them with their periods," Smith said.
You can donate products or money to buy products, even buy a t-shirt.