RALEIGH, N.C. — A North Carolina woman has made it her mission to ensure that women and girls in the state are not going without basic day-to-day necessities, regardless of their circumstance.

Shirnetta Harrell is stepping up to fill a major need in her community. She founded The No Woman, No Girl Initiative in February.

What You Need To Know

  • The No Woman, No Girl Initiative provides 16 everday essentials to women and girls

  • The organization was founded by Shirnetta Harrell in 2021

  • It provides either a 90-day or a 30-day supply of essentials

She is a native of Nashville, N.C. and a two-time HBCU graduate. Harrell received a bachelor of social work from Shaw University and later graduated from Alabama A&M University with a master of social work degree and a concentration in community mental health.

While starting a nonprofit during a pandemic was not an easy feat, Harrell made it happen.

“The need was more important than ever, there was no time to wait,” Harrell said. 

The organization provides a 90-day supply of 16 everyday essential items to women and girls across Wake County. Those items include things like tampons, pads, shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, and more. 

“As a social worker, once I would get these families and students to housing, or once I would get them into a shelter, they would say, ‘Oh my God, I don't have a toothbrush,' or 'Oh my God I haven't washed my hair in over a month,” Harrell said.

After hearing that time and time again, it was clear that there was a need that hadn’t been met. Harrell then decided to take it upon herself to start an organization that would give women and girls everything they need to stay hygienic and be their best selves. 

No Woman, No Girl also offers a 30-day supply of essentials to women and girls in situations like fires, natural disasters, and those fleeing domestic abuse.

The organization is only made possible through donations and volunteers. To learn more about The No Woman, No Girl Initiative visit its website.