Inspiration

Menstrual products are taxed as luxury goods when they should be treated as daily necessities so many populations lack proper access to products. Period poverty is not a novel issue and it’s about time we come up with an innovative solution to help underprivileged populations have access to these basic products.

What it does

The users of the website can find locations of places where they can find gender-neutral bathrooms and free menstrual products. The locations of the menstrual products would go both ways as people can donate and take products based on their needs. This would provide a solid spot where people can get products and leave them for others. And as for the bathrooms, this tool would pinpoint the exact locations of gender-neutral bathrooms in the area which is a convenient way to find these spaces before-hand.

How I built it

First, we started with an idea and started to implement basic visuals using HTML and styling on what the tool would look like. Later, we employed JavaScript and used the API Mapbox to make our creation come to life.

Challenges I ran into

This was our first hackathon so trying to code in such a compressed amount of time while also learning new things and making new friends was a little challenging. Also, using the MapBox API and Icon feature proved to be difficult because there was minimal documentation about how to add different icons to the map.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

We are proud of the fact that this is our first-ever hackathon and we were able to not only create a project but also create a project that has a connection with our personal lives. We are also extremely proud of each other for being team members that contributed equally to this shared project even though it was our first time in such an environment.

What I learned

Through this project, we learned that passions can be combined. Our passion for menstrual health equity and gender equality was combined with our technical skills to create a product that is useful for many populations. We also learned the power of hard work and the importance of team work.

What's next for WC Vital

In the upcoming year, we plan to branch out to Triangle then to North Carolina and maybe National. We want to turn the tool into a google extension instead of a standalone app. Additional features: automatic mobile compatibility, dynamic data input, dynamic data (making sure we use fact check/spider tool).

In the long run, we are planning for a full Google Maps extension where preferences can pop up based on user-provided information (gender preference, bathroom preference, menstrual information: yes/no). The public will also be able to add information about bathrooms, free products, and so on, and to prevent duplicate entries and spam, we will have a spider run through entries. Other future features might include Disability Accessible restrooms and disability (blind/deaf/etc) friendly restaurants and centers. The app would be easy to use and operates with user preference in mind, and is easily switched off if the user chooses not to use the services.

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