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Camions of Care has changed its name to PERIOD, still focused on providing support for at-risk and sheltered women

SUBMITTED PHOTO  - Nadya Okamoto, founder of Camions of Care, now called PERIOD, is a freshman at Harvard College. The organization has matured to tackle even bigger womens menstrual issues such as the repeal of the sales tax that 37 states still place on menstrual hygiene products, and a complete national expansion of their campus chapter network.

Over the past two years, Camions of Care has become known as a game-changing organization leading the menstrual movement and supporting the menstrual needs of at-risk and sheltered women throughout the U.S.

March 8, in honor of International Women's Day and theme #beBoldforChange, the organization changed its name to PERIOD. The Menstrual Movement.

Founded in 2014, by then 16-year-old high school student Nadya Okamoto, PERIOD is still youth-led, but like Okamoto, now a freshman at Harvard College, the organization has matured to tackle even bigger women's menstrual issues such as the repeal of the sales tax that 37 states still place on menstrual hygiene products, and a complete national expansion of their campus chapter network.

"Camions of Care made sense when we first started, distributing care packages out of trucks to shelters around Portland," Okamoto said, who explained that camions means trucks in a few languages.

The re-branding to PERIOD includes a new look and name designed to drive greater awareness for the mission of providing menstrual hygiene products to women in need while working to eliminate the social stigma surrounding women and periods.

"The new name is much more intuitive and aligned with our mission to celebrate periods and provide menstrual products for those most in need," Okamoto said.

To date, PERIOD has addressed more than 75,000 periods by distributing menstrual products to shelters throughout the U.S. and internationally with the help of more than 60 registered campus chapters at universities and high schools.

"Women's menstrual needs are too often overlooked when we think about ways to support the disadvantaged, sheltered and homeless," Okamoto said. "Young people with periods turn to unhealthy and unthinkable alternatives – old socks, rags, paper bags – when menstrual hygiene products aren't readily available. We want to change the narrative – having your period is not a luxury and menstrual hygiene is not a privilege, it is a right."

Women are among the fastest growing homeless population in the nation, perpetuating the issue and increasing the need. People who want to help can support PERIOD in a variety of ways.

Donations can be made through Period.org.

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