This 21-year-old superhero has an amazing idea to help save people who get periods.

Many Americans don’t have access to tampons and pads. Claire Coder is fixing that.

Anyone who has ever gotten their period at an inopportune time knows the scramble to find a menstrual product.

There's the “sneakily ask all co-workers for a tampon” move. Or the frantic search for a quarter to use at one of those vending machine-style boxes in some restrooms. (Though, let's be honest, they're rarely stocked.)

Entrepreneur Claire Coder found herself in this very predicament at a cisgender male-dominated business event in 2016. There weren’t exactly a bunch of people rushing to help when her period arrived, so she had to come up with a reason to leave the event early.


When she got home, tampon now acquired, she had a brilliant idea:

Toilet paper is offered for free — so why not tampons?

But why not?! Photo by Aunt Flow/Instagram, used with permission.

While Coder has easy access to menstrual products, many Americans just don’t have it that easy. Tampons and pads are rarely donated to homeless people. And those who rely on food stamps to get by can forget about assistance in this department — SNAP doesn't cover menstrual products.

In the spirit of giving tampons to people in need, Coder created Aunt Flow.

Photo by Aunt Flow/Instagram, used with permission.

Aunt Flow sells 100% organic cotton menstrual products to businesses so they can offer products for free to employees and guests.

And Coder says it’s working:

“In just one year, I created a company that has stocked over 100 businesses across the USA with freely accessible menstrual products, and we have donated over 125,000 menstrual products to organizations that support menstruators in need.”

She’s worked with establishments of every size — from local coffee shops to companies like Viacom to colleges like Ohio and Brown Universities, respectively.

The goal is simple: To encourage companies to purchase more tampons and pads so that more menstrual products can be donated to people in need.

Aunt Flow donates one piece for every 10 pieces a business buys.

Aunt Flow donating to Dress for Success Columbus. There’s more where that came from! Photo courtesy of Claire Coder, used with permission.

Aunt Flow partners with local organizations who are already helping the community. Those organizations stretch from coast to coast, including the Mid-Ohio Food Bank, Dress for Success, Period Menstrual Movement, 1Girl, Tiger Pantry at the University of Missouri, Gracehaven, and I Support the Girls.

Coder wants to encourage positive menstrual education for young people, and often leads talks about the topic.

“When I was growing up, my health teacher handed me a ‘goodie bag’ with a tampon and pad,” she recalls, adding:

“I was forced to go home and figure it out by myself. The conversation was never brought up again at school, which contributed to the menstrual taboo. At Aunt Flow, we are committed to educating young menstruators about menstruation in a fun and engaging way.”

Coder talks #PeriodPositivity at Kent State University. Photo by Aunt Flow/Facebook, used with permission.

Coder has big goals: She hopes to reach 500,000 donated products in 2018. She’s excited about her business, but also about how things are changing in society.

California and Illinois have recently passed legislation requiring schools to stock freely accessible menstrual products — and Aunt Flow is actively working with schools to stay on top of things.

“I am working toward the day when I can be walking anywhere, suddenly get my period, and not feel frantic,” Coder said, “because I know that just down the road, a bathroom will be stocked with Aunt Flow’s products.”  

Everybody with a period should be able to feel that way too.

Coder speaking to a packed room at the Columbus School for Girls. Photo courtesy of Claire Coder, used with permission.

Visit Aunt Flow for more information or to order products for your business.

More

We all know that social media can be a cesspool of trolly negativity, but sometimes a story comes along that totally restores your faith in the whole thing. Enter the KFC proposal that started off being mocked and ended up with a swarm of support from individuals and companies who united to give the couple an experience to remember.

Facebook user Tae Spears shared the story with screenshots from Twitter, and the response has been overwhelming.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via Twitter / ESPN

Madison Square Garden in New York City is known for having hosted some legendary performances. George Harrison's Concert for Bangladesh in '71, Billy Joel's 12 sellouts in '06, and Carmelo Anthony's 62 points in a 2014 victory against the Charlotte Bobcats, just to name a few.

But it's hard to imagine one person holding the legendary arena in the palm of their hand quite like Pete DuPré, better known as "Harmonica Pete," did on Veterans Day.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

Many of us are too young to remember the hijacking of Pan Am Flight 73 of 1986, much less any details about it. But thanks to a viral Facebook post from Misfit History, some attention is being shed on an incredible heroine who saved many American lives in the standoff.

The post reads:

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via Thomas Benjamin Wild Esq. / YouTube

Whenever life becomes too tedious or stressful, it seems that the human psyche has a release valve that turns on and we just go, "F it."

I give up. I no longer care. I got nothing left.

It's a wonderful moment when we go from being at our wits end to being on the other side of the madness. Because, after all, as Mark Manson, author of "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck" says:

You and everyone you know are going to be dead soon. And in the short amount of time between here and there, you have a limited amount of fucks to give. Very few, in fact.
Keep Reading Show less
popular