Teen starts non-profit to help girls in need of hygiene products

A Tampa teen is supplying female hygiene products to her peers in need. 

Aanya Patel has a much-needed delivery for girls at Sulphur Springs K-8 School in Tampa.

"In the U.S. I found out that one in five girls lack access to menstrual hygiene products and girls are even missing school because of this," Patel said.

After participating in a global virtual forum about hygiene poverty, Aanya decided to start a non-profit to supply feminine hygiene products to title one schools in the Tampa Bay area. She calls her effort the Global Girls Initiative.

"I hope that the girls that I give these products to are able to gain a new sense of confidence and self-esteem," she said.

Aanya gets the money for the products through community gifts and her social media platforms.

"With that, I am able to buy a lot of these products. The bags, the menstrual hygiene products and the regular hygiene products as well," she explained. "The people around me that are watching me do this. I really hope that they are inspired to find something that they are passionate about and try to make a difference."

She started her effort during the pandemic last year and has helped thousandths of girls. Aanya hopes her mission inspires other teens to pay it forward.