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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.

10/10. The Mayyas dance.

We can almost always expect to see amazing acts and rare skills on “America’s Got Talent.” But sometimes, we get even more than that.

The Mayyas, a Lebanese women’s dance troupe whose name means “proud walk of a lioness,” delivered a performance so mesmerizing that judge Simon Cowell called it the “best dance act” the show has ever seen, winning them an almost instant golden buzzer.

Perhaps this victory comes as no surprise, considering that the Mayyas had previously won “Arab’s Got Talent” in 2019 and competed on “Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.” But truly, it’s what motivates them to take to the stage that’s remarkable.

“Lebanon is a very beautiful country, but we live a daily struggle," one of the dancers said to the judges just moments before their audition. Another explained, “being a dancer as a female Arab is not fully supported yet.”

Nadim Cherfan, the team’s choreographer, added that “Lebanon is not considered a place where you can build a career out of dancing, so it’s really hard, and harder for women.”

Still, Cherfan shared that it was a previous “AGT” star who inspired the Mayyas to defy the odds and audition anyway. Nightbirde, a breakout singer who also earned a golden buzzer before tragically passing away in February 2021 due to cancer, had told the audience, “You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” The dance team took the advice to heart.

For the Mayyas, coming onto the “AGT” stage became more than an audition opportunity. Getting emotional, one of the dancers declared that it was “our only chance to prove to the world what Arab women can do, the art we can create, the fights we fight.”

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Saving the life of one small animal among the billions upon billions of living things on Earth may not seem significant in the big picture, but when that one small animal's life is in your hands, it means the world.

Yassin Elmahgoub is a medical student from Egypt who recently shared the journey of a tiny baby parrot he rescued. The parrot, who he named Mumble, was born with birth defects and wasn't able to stand or walk. With the help of a parrot behavior consultant, Elmahgoub hand-fed Mumble, nursed him to good health and helped him develop mobility.

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