A La Porte County Life in the Spotlight: Kate Ramer

A La Porte County Life in the Spotlight: Kate Ramer

Kate Ramer never considered herself a “menstrual crusader,” but when she saw the huge need for access to menstrual products in the United States, she knew she needed to get involved.

Ramer is an educator, small business owner, avid traveler, and community advocate. She teaches family and consumer science at La Porte High School and stumbled upon terms like the “pink tax” and period poverty while making a curriculum for her child development class.

States are not required to tax feminine products, but many do to earn extra revenue. Indiana adds a 7% tax to period products, and 22 states in total currently have a “pink tax” on period products. This leaves many women to struggle with period poverty, a term used to describe the lack of access to adequate menstrual supplies.

“I've never had to struggle to have any of that stuff. When I was younger, I had a mom who provided everything we needed. It never crossed my mind that some people don’t have that same access to supplies. It really spiraled from there, and I just got really passionate about it,” Ramer said.

Ramer immediately began brainstorming ways to help, and the Pink Project was born shortly after.

“I've been doing it for several years, but I officially took the plunge to make it a public thing this year. Essentially, my goal is to collect and distribute feminine care products to people that don't have access to a consistent flow of them,” Ramer said.

Ramer estimates that she’s been able to distribute over 10,000 feminine care items in the past two years. While Ramer donates a good amount herself, most of the donations she delivers come from donors who purchase supplies from an Amazon wish list she created.

“Some months I can get hundreds of donations, and other months I get none. It really ebbs and flows. I get to do a lot of fun unboxings of donation hauls, so I'll go live often on the Facebook page and I'll open packages and read who they're from. Then I'll reiterate what I'm going to be using these things for and what organizations they will get donated to,” Ramer said.

When she’s not doing unboxing videos, Ramer will also go live to pack period packs and chat with viewers. Each period pack contains pads, tampons, feminine wipes, hand sanitizers, and panty liners along with a business card so recipients are able to get more supplies in the future.

The period packs and supplies then get donated to various women’s shelters and food pantries around La Porte County. There are also stations full of free supplies within the La Porte and Michigan City school districts.

The stigma surrounding menstruation has been cited as one of the main causes of period poverty. Ramer hopes to use the Pink Project as a way to bring menstruation into the mainstream in addition to providing necessities to those in need.

“The more we can casually talk about it in our everyday lives, the more it will take away that stigma of like, ‘Oh, it's a secret and nobody needs to know’ or, ‘it's my time of the month and it’s too embarrassing to talk about it.’ We’ve got to move past that,” Ramer said.

Menstruation is still a taboo subject for a lot of people, however, and the Pink Project is no exception when it comes to backlash. Although some don’t agree with Ramer’s mission, her twin sister provides some of the strength she needs to continue when the project may not be so well-received.

“I get a lot of help from my twin sister Kelly Scott,” Ramer said. “We do everything together and she's a huge driving force behind pushing me to continue doing this. You don't always get the nicest comments from people. Some people think it's very weird or that I shouldn't really be talking about it publicly, but she always pushes me to keep doing what I'm doing. She will also come over and help me pack stuff and she'll help me go pick up donations. She’s the greatest.”

Scott also teaches at La Porte High School, and the twins spend most of their time together outside of work. Both sisters love to travel, and they enjoy planning trips together to give them something to look forward to throughout the year.

“I'm a huge traveler. When my sister and I aren’t teaching, we're traveling. I just did a recap of 2022, and I think I visited around 12 different places all the way from Canada to Alaska to Alabama to Washington. I just love traveling,” Ramer said.

Ramer also operates a bakery out of her home kitchen called Sweet Kate’s, which was established in 2018.

“It brings me so much joy. I have a fairly consistent customer base, and we stay very busy. It's a lot of fun, but that also motivates me and pays for all the travel we get to do,” Ramer said.

In the rare occurrence of downtime, Ramer loves spending time with her husband and pets.

To keep up with Ramer’s work with the Pink Project, check out the project’s Facebook page here.

To donate through the Amazon wish list, click here.