Since naming Women in Training, Inc. to its Purple Paladin program on March 8, 2023, Grant Thornton LLP has provided significant support to help the youth empowerment organization move from “start-up to unstoppable.”
"Grant Thornton has donated $10,000 to Women in Training, and its employees have donated more than $20,000 to support WIT programs and services," said Adeyela Bennett, Chief Executive Officer, Women in Training, Inc. "Grant Thornton also included WIT in a popular commercial that aired nationally during the PLAYERS Championship on the Golf Channel and NBC."
Furthermore, Grant Thornton employees from across the country have donated almost 1,000 packs of Always pads by Procter & Gamble to help WIT carry out its mission to end period poverty.
“Our entire living room, foyer and garage are filled to capacity with packs of Always pads that Grant Thornton employees from around the nation have shipped to us,” exclaimed Brooke Bennett, 15-year-old WIT Co-Founder. “It feels like Christmas in April!”
Women in Training, in turn, donated about 200 packs of the Always pads to the Southern Poverty Law Center to distribute to families in the Mississippi Delta region where a tornado killed 14 people and destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses. President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden visited Rolling Fork, Mississippi, on March 31, 2023.
“Most people don’t think about period poverty under normal circumstances, so they definitely don’t think about it during disasters,” WIT Co-Founder Breanna Bennett explained. “When Mom asked if we should send some of the boxes of Always pads to Mississippi, both Brooke and I immediately said yes!”
April 11, 2023, SPLC staff members from the Mississippi Office distributed the donated Always pads to girls and families throughout the Mississippi Delta, including Rolling Fork and Silver City, Mississippi, who were drastically affected by the March tornadoes.
“We are so grateful for the generous donation of period products from Women in Training, Inc,” said Waikinya Clanton, Mississippi State Office Director, Southern Poverty Law Center. “So often during natural disasters, the broad needs of women and girls are overlooked, which is why the Southern Poverty Law Center was intentional about our efforts to center the needs of women and girls during this difficult time.”
Grant Thornton LLP is one of America’s largest audit, tax and advisory firms. Through its Purple Paladin program, Grant Thornton provides funding, business advice and volunteer support to emerging nonprofits, while also helping nonprofits raise awareness of their work and mission. Grant Thornton’s Purple Paladins program derives its name from the word paladin, a champion of a cause. Grant Thornton and its professionals have donated more than $1 million to Purple Paladin nonprofits, and more than 650 Grant Thornton professionals have volunteered their time and skills to support the firm’s Purple Paladins.
“Young women should never have to miss out on opportunities because they lack resources for basic wellness,” said Rashada Whitehead, Grant Thornton’s national managing director of Culture, Immersion & Inclusion. “We’re so impressed by what Brooke and Breanna have accomplished addressing an important and often ignored issue, especially at such a young age. They are exactly the types of proactive and creative advocates we set out to support when we created our Purple Paladin program: everyday heroes who dare to dream – and to take action to make a difference.”
Women in Training was instrumental in championing House Bill 50 in Alabama, which was signed into law in April 2022 and mandates free period products be provided in public schools. Given period poverty is a systemic issue that needs systemic change, they hope to inspire and encourage similar change on a national level - helping to pass similar laws like the Menstrual Equity for All Act.
Breanna and Brooke of Women in Training are also Always Period Heroes. "This past year, Always organized the first-ever team of '50 Period Heroes' – WIT being one of them – to help fight period poverty across the country while donating 3.5 million pads to communities in all 50 states," Ms. Bennett said. "Together, they are helping to ensure people across the country have access to the products they need to stay confident while working towards systemic change for the next generation so period protection doesn’t stand in the way of education and confidence ever again.”
To date, Women in Training volunteers have distributed more than 20,000 WITKITS of menstrual, dental and hygiene supplies to girls and other menstruators in Alabama, New Orleans, Washington, D.C., and Potomac, Maryland. Women in Training also donated WITKITS, food, disposable baby diapers, and other hygiene items to tornado victims in Selma, Alabama.