By: Rachel Hyman
The heart of I Support the Girls lies in our Affiliates, and we are nothing without our amazing and driven Affiliate Network across the country and world. Our wide and diverse Affiliate network is full of inspiring individuals committed to creating positive change in their communities, and Lucie Parfitt is one of these incredible changemakers. Lucie dedicated 3.5 amazing years to ISTG- Rochester, NY, and as she nears the end of her time as an Affiliate, we wanted to express our gratitude for every single product she helped supply for women and menstruators in need.
How the Journey Began
Lucie’s journey with ISTG began after the 2016 election when she was attending a workshop on Islamic culture and stereotypes. At the event, she met a woman who was working to help provide menstrual products to refugees. She shared that refugees often have a difficult time obtaining these essential items due to the financial burden and the challenge of using American products that they have never used before.
“Up to that point, I had not considered the challenges that menstruating people deal with monthly to obtain this basic human right,” Lucie said.
That same night she couldn’t sleep, as her mind kept returning to one thing: how can I make a difference for these people? She eventually started googling, discovered ISTG and found her new passion. ISTG Rochester, NY was born and our ISTG family gained an empowered and unstoppable changemaker.
Bras, Tampons, and Pads…Oh My!
Throughout her time as an Affiliate, Lucie accomplished an enormous amount and distributed thousands of products to her community. As she reflected back, Lucie proudly recalled one of her biggest achievements: a LOLA donation of 63,000 pads and tampons!
“My husband and I moved all the product into our apartment basement and then over a few weeks moved it all out to different community organizations. It was really rewarding!” she excitedly noted
However, the smaller moments also made her hard work worthwhile. Some of Lucie’s most treasured and humbling memories include bra distribution events where they fitted women for new bras and gave these women the opportunity to shop entirely for free. Many of these women hadn’t purchased a new bra in years; thus, Lucie and ISTG-Rochester gave them a truly special and uplifting experience.
“It was beautiful to witness their joy and gratitude,” she reflected. “However, I also felt sad that our culture makes it so hard for women to get what they need. The experience was motivating and disheartening all at once.”
Uniting the Community
Lucie regarded these bra distribution events and every single task, big or small, as an Affiliate and leader of social change as a learning and growth opportunity for herself as well. One of her biggest takeaways from her experience as an Affiliate was learning the true power of her community.
“Empathetic community members are a force to be reckoned with,” she said. “Countless people have reached out to me, unprompted, to donate products and bras, through seemingly every channel of communication.”
Lucie recognizes the desire people have to do good and to give back to folks in need.
“People have an innate drive to help and relish the opportunity to get involved,” she said. “It’s not because they’re seeking personal gain or recognition, it’s simply because they care so much about others and want to help.”
A Heartfelt Goodbye
As Lucie finishes distributing the final hundred bras in her basement, she already thinks of her next adventure. Looking to the future, Lucie noted, “I’m truly passionate about sexual and reproductive justice, which may be where I focus my attention next. I’m looking forward to continuing to learn and finding opportunities to help.”
Lucie leaves behind a big legacy here at ISTG, and we are so proud of everything she has accomplished as an Affiliate.
“Lucie is a powerhouse and the folx in need in the Greater Rochester, NY area were so lucky to have her incredible impact for nearly 4 years,” Founder and Executive Director, Dana Marlowe, said. “I felt so humbled to have the opportunity to meet Lucie in early 2018 in person. She is the kind of wonderful compassionate soul that everyone should get the opportunity to meet.”
So, from the bottom of our hearts, congratulations, Lucie! While we are sad to see you go, it has been a joy to change the world with you and we can’t wait to see where life takes you next.