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Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Partners with WIT to Help End Period Poverty in Opelika, Alabama

Updated: Jun 22

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Mu Sigma Omega Chapter, and Women in Training, Inc. (WIT) have initiated a partnership to help end period poverty. The sorority donated $1,000 to Women in Training, Inc., and WIT donated menstrual supplies valued at close to $2,500, for distribution to underserved girls and women in the Opelika community.

From left to right: Brenda Curtis, Vice President and Chairman of Period Poverty Ad Hoc Committee, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Mu Sigma Omega Chapter; Adeyela Bennett, President and CEO, Women in Training, Inc.; Vertrina Grubbs, President, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Mu Sigma Omega Chapter; and Connye Brooks-Smith, Co-Chairman of Period Poverty Ad Hoc Committee, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Mu Sigma Omega Chapter.

The partnership is the brainchild of Mrs. Vertrina Grubbs, President, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Mu Sigma Omega Chapter. Mrs. Grubbs envisioned the partnership for menstrual equity after hearing a virtual presentation on April 10, 2024, from Brooke Bennett, WIT Co-Founder, and Ms. Adeyela Bennett, WIT President and CEO in an Auburn University undergraduate Social Work class.

"Jasmine Greathouse, my former Student Government Association president at Southern Union State Community College, invited me to hear her presentation on period poverty in Professor Shakita Brooks Jones' Methods III class on community engagement,"Mrs. Grubbs said."After hearing Brooke and Ms. Bennett speak about Women in Training's WITKITS Campaign, I knew we had kindred spirits and it would be a perfect partnership."

Mrs. Grubbs shared the information about Women in Training's mission to end period poverty with Ms. Brenda Curtis, Vice President and Chairman of the AKA Period Poverty Ad Hoc Committee, and Ms. Connye Brooks-Smith, Co-Chairman of the committee. The women all agreed on the partnership with WIT, and decided to provide a $1,000 grant to the youth empowerment organization.

Inflation has made everything more costly, including period products, so it is now more important than ever that we continue to give away WITKITS to girls who need them every month,” Ms. Bennett said. “Girls and their parents should not have to decide between food, rent and their menstrual hygiene, and that’s why we provide not only menstrual products but other items like toothpaste, toothbrushes and soap in the WITKITS. We also think it’s important to educate girls and young women about holistic menstrual health so they understand what is happening and what to do when that special time of the month arrives.” 

Women in Training, Inc. provided WITKITS of menstrual, dental and hygiene supplies, as well as packs of Always period supplies and Tampax tampons, both by Procter & Gamble, to the AKA chapter.

Breanna and Brooke Bennett, Founders, Women in Training, Inc., flank Karen Rhodes, member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Mu Sigma Omega Chapter.

"Our chapter plans to donate the menstrual products to the Guidance Counselor offices that serve Fox Run Sixth Grade School, Opelika Middle School, Opelika High School, Opelika Alternative School, Potter-Daniel Boys and Girls Club of Opelika, and Big House Foundation," Mrs. Grubbs said. "We will provide the WITKITS of mensrual, dental and hygiene supplies to the Girls STEP organization and our chapter's youth groups, YLI and Ivy LEAGUE."

Mrs. Grubbs said Councilwoman Erica Baker-Norris of the Opelika City Council rallied support from the Opelika City Council for the sorority's end period poverty project.

"Councilwoman Baker-Norris witnessed our chapter's collection of feminine products during a Political Forum and wanted to make an even greater impact in Opelika,"said Mrs. Grubbs. "She rallied the Opelika City Council, and each councilman made a donation towards the effort."

Opelika City Council members are:

  • Tim Aja - Ward 3

  • George Allen - Ward 1

  • Erica Baker Norris - Ward 2

  • Todd Rauch - Ward 5

  • Eddie Smith - Ward 4

Opelika City Council presenting check to AKA chapter. Mayor Gary Fuller presented a proclamation declaring October 17, 2023, as Period Poverty Day in Opelika.

One in four American girls and young women skip school or miss work because they cannot afford sanitary pads or tampons to stay healthy and clean during their period. To alleviate period poverty, Women in Training, Inc. provides donations of period products to organizations that serve girls and women, advocates for menstrual equity legislation, offers menstrual education workshops, and publishes the brochure, “The WIT Guide to the Menstrual Cycle.”

In May 2024, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey celebrated the State Legislature’s passage of the Education Trust Fund’s budget for the 2024-2025 academic year, thanks to the leadership of WIT Chairwoman Alabama State Representative Rolanda Hollis and State Representative Danny Garrett, Chairman of the Alabama House Ways and Means Education Committee. The budget doubled the state’s annual allocation to the Feminine Hygiene Products Grants program from $200,000 to $400,000, effective September 2024. Despite this tremendous increase, many girls and women in Alabama still suffer from period poverty.

"The need for monthly menstrual supplies is far greater than available resources to help underserved menstruators," Ms. Bennett said. "We are constantly seeking partners to help us in the fight to end period poverty so all girls can live happy and fulfilled lives every day of the month."

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