Sylvias Sisters

Richmond, VA   |  http://www.sylviassisters.org

Mission

Sylvia's Sisters mission is to provide free period products and feminine hygiene education to menstruators who lack access to basic feminine hygiene needs due to lack of availability and/or poverty. By helping menstruators have better hygiene, Sylvia's Sisters shall help improve the health of menstruators and aid in their ability to attend school and work regularly with dignity and become productive members of their community.

Notes from the nonprofit

Sylvia’s Sisters is an all-volunteer organization founded in 2014 by Jennifer Taylor after developing a friendship with Sylvia Namukasa, an environmentalist based in the rural village of Kirinda, Uganda. Sylvia had noticed that a lack of reusable period products prevented girls from attending school in Kirinda, and she requested assistance from Jennifer. In 2013, Jennifer and teams of volunteers were able to send 300 kits of handmade, washable period products to Sylvia’s village. One year later, Sylvia’s Sisters was officially founded. In 2016, Sylvia’s Sisters began supplying central Virginia students with period products, and in 2017, the group began providing reusable pads in Uganda from a local manufacturer committed to hiring Ugandan women. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Sylvia’s Sisters expanded its efforts to provide period products to menstruators from diverse communities in Richmond and its surrounding areas by working alongside local partners.

Ruling year info

2014

President

Brittany Averette

Main address

P.O. Box 13812

Richmond, VA 23225 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

47-2593789

NTEE code info

Human Service Organizations (P20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Half of the world’s population menstruates. But two out of every five menstruators struggle to afford basic hygiene supplies. This is what’s known as period poverty. No one should have to miss school or work because they can’t afford the necessities they require.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Period Product Distribution - Central Virginia

Many people never think about what a lack of access to affordable period supplies can mean to those who menstruate. It can mean missing work or school, wearing products for too long, or using unsanitary substitutes for menstrual hygiene care – all of which can lead to lost income, educational setbacks, and detrimental health effects. In 30 of the United States, period supplies are taxed as “luxury” items, not necessities, making them even more cost prohibitive, and there is no federal aid program to help people purchase these necessities. A 2021 study by U by Kotex shows that two in five people have struggled to buy these necessary items.

To help menstruators achieve all they can without worrying about managing their periods, Sylvia’s Sisters' all-volunteer team partners with a variety of local groups, including non-profits, food banks, and outreach centers, to distribute disposable period products to individuals and families in need.

Population(s) Served
Young adults
Adolescents
Preteens
Economically disadvantaged people

Around the world, cultural taboos prohibit informative discussions about reproductive health and menstrual cycles. In developing countries, this stigma increases the risk of menstruators being subjected to preventable violence and health issues; the problem is compounded by limited access to hygienic products and safe, sanitary restrooms. Girls who cannot safely manage their periods may miss class, fall behind in their studies, and drop out of school. Without an education, they are more likely to marry and have children at a young age.

Sylvia’s Sisters has actively worked toward breaking this cycle in Uganda. In 2013, we began donating kits containing washable and reusable pads and underwear to Ugandan communities. In 2017, the group began providing reusable pads to Uganda via AFRIpads, a menstrual kit manufacturer and social enterprise committed to hiring Ugandan women.

Population(s) Served
Young adults
Adolescents
Preteens
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Proud member of Alliance for Period Supplies 2019

Financials

Sylvias Sisters
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Sylvias Sisters

Board of directors
as of 08/08/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Brittany Averette

Katie Irvine

Heather Lennon

Erika Bedwell

Jennifer Taylor