Students, staff participate in unique, educational activities over summer: Reina Kodama

Summer boredom is a common problem for high school students. Relaxing at home watching Netflix, eating and hanging out with friends all day are often too enticing to pass up. Sophomore Reina Kodama, however, found an enjoyable, productive and charitable way to spend her days by volunteering.

Kodama volunteered with Students Against Period Poverty (SAPP), a local, student-run nonprofit that aims to make menstrual products easily accessible and to decrease period poverty through education, volunteering and advocacy. “What we do is have fundraising events to raise money to buy menstrual products for the homeless,” she said. “We make care packages and donate them to shelters.”

Kodama joined the Palo Alto chapter of the nonprofit, which has multiple chapters across the Bay Area, as a secretary. “I thought it sounded like a really fun and interesting thing to do, so I decided to take the offer,” she said.

Kodama, who has always wanted to volunteer for homeless shelters, found this experience to be a positive one. “I think it was a really productive way of spending my summer, especially with the whole COVID-19 situation,” she said. “I don’t have many things going on, so when I was able to be productive like this, I felt like I was doing something good for the community.”

Kodama hopes to continue volunteering for SAPP by putting together and sending out care packages. “We’re planning to expand our fundraising events and to ask people if they want to volunteer for service hours to make the care packages,” she said.