PLATINUM2024

Sylvias Sisters

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

Mission

Sylvia’s Sisters strives to achieve menstrual equity in Central Virginia and abroad through education, advocacy and the provision of necessary supplies, so that menstruators can thrive at school, work and in all aspects of their lives.

Notes from the nonprofit

Sylvia's Sisters began after Jennifer Taylor developed a friendship with Sylvia Namukasa, an environmentalist based in the rural village of Kirinda, Uganda. Sylvia had noticed that a lack of period products prevented girls from attending school in Kirinda, and she requested help. In 2013, Jennifer and teams of volunteers in Virginia were able to send 300 kits of handmade, washable period products to Sylvia's village. One year later, Sylvia's Sisters was officially founded. A few years later, the group transitioned from making pad to purchasing reusable pads in-country from a local manufacturer committed to hiring Ugandan women. In 2016, Sylvia's Sisters launched a domestic mission to provide disposable period products to Virginian menstruators through partnerships with schools and community organizations. As of the end of 2023, Sylvia's Sisters has distributed more than 1 million period products in Virginia and more than 17,950 reusable pads around the world.

Ruling year info

2014

Executive Director

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 or 990-EZ.

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Two out of every five menstruators struggle to afford or access basic hygiene supplies. This is what’s known as period poverty. Sylvia’s Sisters tackles period poverty by working with local schools and community organizations to distribute period products to menstruators in need, free of charge. No one should have to miss school, work, or other activities because they can’t afford the necessities they require. Period poverty exists, in part, because of social taboos surrounding menstruation. Sylvia’s Sisters believes that every menstruator deserves the right to manage their menstrual cycle with dignity. Our educational outreach strives to help menstruators know what is normal about their period or what should be a concern, and we work to challenge the stigma surrounding periods to help menstruators feel confident in expressing their needs and reducing the shame surrounding this very normal human function.

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?

Menstrual Health and Hygiene in 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. We tackle period inequity by providing schools and organizations with period products for menstruators in need. Most of these products are packaged in “period kits” (bags containing enough pads, tampons, and/or liners for one menstruator for one month) but we also provide some partners with products in their original packaging. Additionally, we participate in community resource fairs where we hand out free packages of pads directly to menstruators in Richmond-area communities. To increase menstrual health and hygiene knowledge, we collaborate with local healthcare professionals to develop printed and online resources and offer in-person classes.

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

Since 2013, Sylvia's Sisters has provided more than 11,200 reusable menstrual pads to women and girls of the Bukomansimbi district in rural Uganda. 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. In addition, Sylvia’s Sisters provides Sylvia Namukasa, our namesake who lives in Uganda, with assistance to increase menstrual health and hygiene awareness and to conduct valuable educational programs. Sylvia’s Sisters also facilitates the purchase and installation of rainwater catchment tanks at Ugandan schools and community centers identified by our Ugandan-based team member, as reliable access to clean water is a necessity to safely wash reusable products.

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

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Proud member of Alliance for Period Supplies 2019

Proud member of Alliance for Period Supplies 2020

Proud member of Alliance for Period Supplies 2021

Proud member of Alliance for Period Supplies 2022

Proud member of Alliance for Period Supplies 2023

Proud member of Alliance for Period Supplies 2024

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of fulfilled requests for period products

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Menstrual Health and Hygiene in Central Virginia

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of schools receiving period products

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Menstrual Health and Hygiene in Central Virginia

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of period products distributed in Virginia

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Menstrual Health and Hygiene in Central Virginia

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Due to an exceptionally large donation of products received the previous year, 2020 numbers are significantly higher than following 2 years.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

In 2024, we strive to:
- Distribute at least 400,000 period products in Central Virginia
- Produce educational materials about menstrual health and hygiene
- Provide reusable pad kits and water tanks (to ensure resources to wash reusable pads) to the communities around Kirinda, Uganda

Expanding our reach is the best way to fight period poverty in the greater Richmond area. By providing free, quality period products via an increased number of partner agencies and distribution events aimed at low-income populations, we will continue working toward removing some of the financial burden for as many local menstruators as possible.

Providing free educational materials written by qualified healthcare professionals will empower local menstruators to ask questions and receive factual information about menstrual health in a safe setting. We will re-initiate our educational mission, which was temporarily suspended due to in-person COVID-19 restrictions, by collaborating with a healthcare professional to create printed and online educational materials on menstrual health and hygiene.

Financials

Sylvias Sisters

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Operations

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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Sylvias Sisters

Board of directors
as of 06/20/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Brittany Averette

Heather Lennon

Erika Lee Bedwell

Jennifer Bishop Taylor

Patricia Hunter-Jordan

Carolina Lugo

Rabia Husain

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 6/20/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability