COPH Employee Organizes ‘Party with a Purpose’ to Address Period Poverty in State

By Kev' Moye

Hart’s commitment to service was on full display as organizer of the 2023 Mardi Bras: A Party with a Purpose. The event combined fun fellowship with an opportunity to address period poverty in Arkansas. Attendees either donated money or feminine hygiene items.

“Period poverty is the lack of access to menstrual products and education about menstruation,” Hart said. “Mardi Bras brought awareness to the problem and gave women who don’t think of themselves as a philanthropist a chance to see themselves as such. Seeing people enjoy themselves, learn about the issue and stay at the party from start to finish made it a success.”

Nearly 650 sanitary pads, 500 tampons, 16 bras and $230 were collected. The items and the money were presented to More Chances Period, a Little Rock based nonprofit that provides free feminine hygiene products to women in Arkansas — especially girls who are in middle school, high school or college.


Just a few of the feminine hygiene products donated during Mardi Bras 2023.


“Some people can’t afford to purchase any or enough period hygiene products for each cycle,” Hart said. “Unfortunately, there are individuals who have to stretch the use of an item for longer than it’s suggested, which can lead to long-term physical, mental and emotional challenges.”

This was Hart’s second Mardi Bras event. She held the first one back in 2016.

Hart has received lots of positive feedback from the community about the pertinent info provided during the fun event.

C. Hart

Camille Hart speaks to the attendees of the 2023 Mardi Bras event.

“I’ve had quite a few people encourage me to host something similar on a quarterly basis,” Hart said. “It’s something that I’m considering. However, of course the themes would be different if that happens.”

Service is a way of life for Hart. She’s also vice president of the Capital View Stiff Station Neighborhood Association in Little Rock. As for the college, Hart oversees the Barbershop Talk research study, which seeks to reduce excessive alcohol use among black men by doing outreach at barbershops.

Whether it is in the community or her duties for the college, Hart embraces the chance to improve the lives of Arkansans.

“Being engaged in the community is something I love,” she said. “My mother has a servant’s heart, and she kept me engaged in different service activities as a child. Fittingly, now as an adult, I don’t know anything different.”

Ultimately Mardi Bras, was about bringing awareness to period poverty while also empowering and motivating people to embrace service opportunities in the community.

“Most people think you have to have a lot of money to make a difference, and that’s far from the truth,” Hart said. “Money isn’t the only way to be philanthropic. We’re called to serve through using our gifts. There’s something that each of us can do to help our respective communities.”