As if making an order of Girl Scout cookies wasn’t already tempting enough, a young troop made the offer even more enticing. Troop 45960 had big plans for the money they raised selling boxes of the beloved cookies: The fifth-graders wanted to install lockers for menstrual products at in their school’s bathrooms.
Girls at their school in Fairfield, Ohio, are not allowed to carry purses, so when classmates needed to go to the bathroom while menstruating, they had to tuck their hygiene products into their clothing. Students could also go to the school nurse to get any products they needed, but the girls pointed out that this could waste valuable class time.
“Our choices were to stress, or worry about hiding something,” one of the girls in the troop, Reagan, told Teen Vogue. “Miss class time, or risk being found out. We didn’t like any of the choices. You want to feel confident and empowered at school, not stressed and distracted. It made the most sense to have products in bathrooms, where you need them.”
So, they came up with a solution: They wanted to install lockers that house feminine products in the girls’ bathroom at school so that every girl could easily access items they needed — and they’d use their Girl Scout cookie-selling funds to pay for it.
They even persuaded a local business, Nation Kitchen and Bar, to buy 250 boxes of Thin Mints to support their cause after submitting a video on Facebook explaining why it should support their troop.
However, when they pitched the idea to the school, it was initially rejected.
Thankfully, these little ladies weren’t taking “no” for an answer! They brainstormed and came up with an idea the school couldn’t pass up. Instead of lockers, they’d have a cabinet with dedicated bins to store tampons, pads and more in each bathroom. This time, the idea was approved.
“I felt frustrated at first [when they first said ‘no’],” Reagan told Teen Vogue. “I didn’t understand why our school was saying ‘no’ when our troop only saw the good things. The world would never change if we accepted every ‘no.'”
Once the idea was approved, the troop built the cabinets and had them placed in the bathroom at school.
“Whenever I look in the locker there have been a lot of people using it,” a Girl Scout named Jordan told Teen Vogue.
Fellow Girl Scout Alexis told the publication, “It felt good to help other girls and get the opportunity to do this. It was also a way for the girls in the troop to draw their entire community closer together, all over menstruation.”
According to Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, over 1.2 billion women all over the world do not have access to their basic sanitation needs, including feminine hygiene. So, as the troop stated in their Facebook submission video, “[the] project may not change the entire world, but it will make a world of a difference to a girl.”
And they couldn’t be more accurate! This is certainly a step in the right direction. Bravo, ladies!