Helping the Atlanta community one pad at a time

Georgia State organization Pads for Princesses hand out care packages for homeless women and women in need filled with pads, toothpaste and toothbrushes, soap, and other essential hygiene items. Photos by Jade Johnson | The Signal

Going to school in downtown Atlanta, students at Georgia State interact with the homeless population on a regular basis.

In 2019, a study found that there are approximately 3,200 homeless people within the city of Atlanta. Women and girls experiencing homelessness not only have to worry about where they’re going to sleep and where their next meal will come from but also what to do on their menstrual cycle.

These are the kind of people that Pads for Princesses was created to serve. Pads for Princesses is a service-based student organization that provides feminine hygiene products for homeless women and youth in Atlanta. They particularly focus on the community close to the Atlanta campus, where they also volunteer at local care agencies.

Josh Krivanek, president of Pads for Princesses, is a second-year student at Georgia State majoring in social entrepreneurship. 

According to Krivanek, “[Pads for Princesses] like[s] to really drive a discussion around homelessness here on the Atlanta campus to hopefully tear back some of that stigma.” 

Krivanek joined the organization last spring and, by the end of the year, became president. He was inspired to join when the former president came to speak in one of his classes.

“It was the first org that I heard really dealing directly with homelessness, so [with] that being something that is a passion of mine, [it] seemed like a natural fit. I went to their banquet and ended up joining,” Krivanek said. 

The organization has between 80-100 members, but are always welcoming more who are eager to volunteer to join. Students can apply through the Panther Involvement Network. There are no dues, but students are welcome and encouraged to make donations to fund the organization.

Pads for Princesses also has an e-board for students interested in leadership positions. There is a public relations department, a treasurer and a vice president. The executive board is working to transition organization-wide communication from GroupMe to Instagram to improve member retention. 

Krivanek also works with a faculty and staff workgroup called Homeless Outreach Proactive Engagement Link. HOPE link works to collect resources to make the jobs of the HOPE Team easier. HOPE Team is composed of Georgia State University Police Department officers who provide resources for those who are less fortunate. 

According to GSUPD’s Facebook page, the HOPE Team “encourages positive interaction between police officers and the often forgotten members of our community.” 

Pads for Princesses will be partnering with Civic Engagement to organize a sleep-out later in the spring semester to raise student awareness for student homelessness, which Krivanek describes as a “big, big event.”

Krivanek was able to give The Signal a generic idea of how the event will go. 

“Loosely, everyone will come around 7 o’clock, and we’d like to have a hot meal,” Krivanek said. “Then, there’s going to be a little bit of time where we have guest speakers from care agencies talk about why we’re there, serving with dignity and really addressing the stigma of the issue [of student homelessness].”

Krivanek wants the point of hosting this event to be focusing on student homelessness and giving students the opportunity to be more aware.

“Then we’ll sleep. Everyone will get authentic sleepwear, so, like, a sleeping bag or a box or something like that, and we’ll sleep outside,” Krivanek said. “In the morning, we’ll have a little bit of programming and then a meal.” 

Pads for Princesses is also planning another event to take place about two weeks after the Org Fair. Krivanek also plans on having the second annual banquet, a tradition that began with last year’s president.