Britt Bowersox, from Swisher, Iowa, has achieved the Gold Award, the highest award a Girl Scout can achieve, by creating a sustainable pipeline of menstrual kits for women and girls through homeless shelters and relief agencies!
The high school student discovered that many women and girls in her community face struggles with attaining products like tampons and pads. Often facing difficult choices, the lack of affordable sanitary products can cause women and girls not to attend school or work, purchase sanitary products over other necessities, or even utilize solutions that can later lead to health issues.
“In Linn County, 11.1% of households receive food stamps, and over 9,000 people are uninsured. If a family is unable to afford necessities like food, they will most likely not be prioritizing menstrual health for working mothers, school-age daughters, and any other family members,” says Britt. “For community members without health insurance, unaddressed health issues such as urinary tract infections may lead to severe reproductive issues or cervical cancer in the future.”
Britt decided to work with Days for Girls, an organization that creates reusable menstrual health kits for women and girls around the world. She helped make connections with local homeless shelters and relief organizations to distribute kits like the ones used in the Day for Girls program.
“By working with the Days for Girls organization to provide reusable menstrual health kits to these women through local homeless shelters and relief agencies, they do not have to miss opportunities due to menstruation and can confidently focus on financing themselves and their families,” says Britt.
After making many kits herself, Britt developed a program for other local Girl Scouts to continue filling supply needs from these organizations. Girl Scouts in can check out “patch backpacks” with supplies and step-by-step instructions for making the kits. The Cedar Hills Days for Girls Chapter will continue to provide kits to the organizations and relief agencies in Linn County as needed.
How long have you been a Girl Scout?
I have been a Girl Scout for 11 years.
What inspired your Gold Award project?
My Gold Award project was inspired by an unmet need in my community that I wanted to address.
What do you love about Girl Scouting?
My favorite part is mentoring younger girls and serving my community!
What role has Girl Scouts played in your life?
Girl Scouts has allowed me to develop leadership skills and become more aware of possible careers.
What is your next step after earning your Gold Award?
I am entering my senior year of high school and hope to attend a four-year university in the future.
Visit the programs on demand page for more information about checking out the patch program backpack.