In December 2010, Lorrie Lynn King visited Andhra Pradesh to assess educational needs in rural areas, in order to establish a program of corporate social responsibility for N2N Services. After meeting with teachers and school officials, one brave female teacher spoke up about an issue no one had mentioned—many girls missed a week of school each month because they could not afford sanitary products, and had little or no access to a toilet at school.

As she surveyed other schools in the Rangereddy District, Lorrie found that this issue was both widespread and unspoken; because of the stigma associated with menstruation, and because women had been rarely involved with field assessment teams and local NGO programming, this obvious barrier to education had gone unaddressed. The majority of girls cease attending school after 10th class, and the weeks they miss during their critical educational years put them at a greater deficit.

How much, Lorrie asked, would it cost to provide girls with sanitary products? The answer was almost shocking—only 20 rupees, or 50 cents, could buy a girl a month’s supply.

A group of local Atlanta friends were soon caught up in her enthusiasm; 50 Cents. Period. was born.

Since that time, our founder and our work have been internationally honored and recognized, receiving a place in CNN’s Top Ten Inspiring Women of 2014; a resolution of honor by the Georgia State House of Representatives, and an appointment as the first US Ambassador for WASH United’s Global Menstrual Hygiene Day.

Our story wouldn’t be complete, however, without acknowledging the women who sat around a dining room table, sipping wine, and manifesting Lorrie’s experience into existence: Ann Van Slyke, Emily Strasser, Nancy Bent, Elaine Alpert, Ellen Webb McFee, and Sarah Leahy. Thank you for giving your heart, resources, and time.