Menstrual Fairies Visit SWHS


Sedro-Woolley has a “menstrual product fairy” who has been adding tampons, pads and panty liners to all of the women’s bathrooms.

Natalie Lahr, a senior at Sedro-Woolley High School and a sophomore at Skagit Valley College, started this program her junior year at SWHS, supplying the products with her own money with the help of Kelly Hawkins, a teacher at SWHS.

They got a few donations, but not enough to supply the whole school, so she handed it off to FCCLA, which has continued funding and adding the supplies when needed.

The reason that Lahr started this project is because many times in the bathrooms, someone asked her if they had a menstrual product that she was willing to give. She wanted to start this needed program, and an opportunity fell into her lap when in leadership last year.
“Myself and Leah Litke, junior at Sedro-Woolley High School, partnered up to make this our ‘passion project’ which is an assignment given in the class that encourages you to make a difference in the school in a way that is meaningful to you,” stated Lahr.
She is passionate about helping other women that need the support, and with this project, many students can feel safe and cared for at SWHS.
“[The] Organization was making supplies to send to women in Nepal, who face limited access to sanitary hygiene products and face stigma and ostracization,” Lahr continued. “After doing this research, I realized that while it may not be to the same extent, those who menstruate in the U.S. can also suffer from ‘period poverty,’ which occurs when you are unable to afford to buy sanitary products.”
Lahr is hoping that students that have social anxiety, who are new to the school, and even for students that do not identify as female can get products without having to ask anyone in a safe spot. She gave the project to FCCLA because she knew that they would continue to make a safe space for everyone.
“FCCLA hopes to continue to provide menstrual products for the girls in the high school. For now, we are finding better products to use that are not super expensive but ones that girls will use,” said Erin Pierce, a senior at SWHS and president of FCCLA.
Other schools, including some universities, have programs to help distribute menstrual products around their towns.
In Pullman Washington, Aydan Garland-Miner, a former student at Washington State University, founded a program called PERIOD, “a nonprofit organization that provides support for those who face period poverty” that strives to promote menstrual equity,” according to the WSU Women*s Center.
PERIOD distributed products during COVID-19 in Spokane and found themselves not having enough supplies for the homeless due to the huge peak of homeless people during COVID-19.
As for the 2022-23 school year, public and private schools are required to have menstrual hygiene products in bathrooms from the sixth to twelve grade at no cost. As for third to sixth grade, schools must provide them in the nurse’s office.
“School districts and private 3 schools may seek grants or partner with nonprofit or community-based organizations to fulfill this obligation,” according to Legi Scan on the Washington House Bill 1273.
The bill will help future product refills and less period poverty.