This past year has had many unexpected changes, twists, turns, and variants (thank you COVID), but nonetheless many of us can still reflect on the positive aspects of this year. While attending our last Executive Board meeting, our current President reflected on how much growth The Dot has gone through in the past year. As an organization that relied on in-person interaction and fundraising, our leaders and members got creative to ensure that we still fulfilled all pillars of our mission. This blog post may not be as informative or educational as others, but a brief history about TDO’s success in 2021 is warranted after all of the hard work our team has put in.
In January, The Dot expanded our Eboard to include more members on all three divisions of our leadership team: advocacy, outreach, and digital. Working with so many individuals allowed us to develop new professional relationships and create so many of the amazing initiatives we accomplished this year. In February, we were virtually hosted by the UM Public Health Association to discuss the impact of period poverty on the public health of our local community. Later that month our Advocacy Team led us through a successful Valentine’s Day gram fundraiser, which reached recipients all across campus. During March and April, TDO was featured in a local newspaper called Groundcover News to highlight and advertise our free period product subscription service. After the summer break, our returning members got to work right away to put together period packages for BirthBrite in Jackson, MI. With Halloween spirit throughout October, we made and hung tampon ghosts around various bathrooms and building on campus to promote TDO’s mission while also providing a free menstrual product for anyone who needed them. We also hosted a Halloween-themed 5K on a rainy day at the end of that month. November was a busy month for us with a tailgate treat bag fundraiser, making period packages for Michigan Movement, and our Kendra Scott collaboration. Our President Livvy Hintz was also featured in Detroit Free Press to discuss the importance of Ann Arbor’s period product mandate. Finally, in December we launched our first ever merch line, hosted a period party where we sold self-care kits, and most importantly, took a public stance on UM lack of decision or action on Ann Arbor City Council’s decision that period products be available in all public restrooms.
*For this last point, if you are interested in showing the University that there is a need and duty to uphold this ordinance on campus, please click this link to read about the history of UM’s resistance to providing period products in restrooms and sign our petition (https://www.change.org/p/university-of-michigan-administration-university-of-michigan-abide-by-ann-arbor-s-ordinance-to-require-free-menstrual-products).
As you can see, we have had a very successful year at TDO and we could not have done it without so much support from our community. We look forward to continuing our work and mission in the new year!