How to Run a Packing Party: Detailed Instructions
Purchase Products or hold a Product Drive
Product Drives: Ask for donations of menstrual products by placing boxes or bins in high traffic areas, with an explanatory poster. For health reasons, please do not accept open packages of tampons or pads. Advertise your drive and these locations on social media.
Product Purchase: If you choose to raise funds instead, you may be able to purchase products from national at the cost of shipping, which is about $2 per care package (contact email@example.com) Tampons and pads can also be purchased online or at discount stores.
Prepare for the Party
Get supplies and care package ingredients. Find a room. Invite your friends and advertise your event on social media, through email, or with posters. You can use our ActionNetwork platform to make it easy and reach more people. Bring postcards and stamps to write representatives, if you’d like, or direct people to our campaign page. You can download images to use on social media from the packing party instructions file above. Use #YaleDayOfService and @periodmovement. Bring a good camera, and check out photo tips at the Yale DOS site. Consider sending out a press release.
Introduce the Menstrual Movement to your guests by showing a video, such as Nadya and Vincent at the Maker's Conference (some explicit language) or holding a discussion. Suggestions: when (and from whom) did you first hear about periods? How do you hide your menstrual products when you go to the bathroom (or don’t you?!) How do the taboos of hiding periods and avoiding public discussion affect self-image and prevent policy change?
Set up your assembly line for stamping bags, pads, tampons, other optional hygiene supplies, stapling bags, and placing them in boxes for transport. You should have time to discuss policy and write letters to your representatives, if you’d like. Count your packs and tell your volunteers how many periods they served. Thank your volunteers!
Provide packages to partners
Find a community partner who serves people experiencing homelessness or poverty. These are generally non-profits, but may also include government run shelters. It is very important to contact these groups in advance to find out how and when they would like to receive deliveries, as they serve a vulnerable population and must respect their clients’ privacy. If you’re in the Portland metro area contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Pass on results
Let us know how you did! One of our key metrics is the number of periods served, and another is volunteer hours. That data not only helps us measure our impact, it also helps with grants and other types of funding. Non-affiliated groups, who are not chapter members, report their results at http://tinyurl.com/period-packing-party. Chapters report their results in the chapter survey.