On Saturday, Oct. 22, nearly 40 Decatur restaurants and retail shops will come together in support of 50 Cents. Period, a Decatur-based organization providing support for girls in developing countries and for refugee women in the Atlanta area.

50 Cents. Period’s mission is to help further the education of girls in or from developing countries by providing sanitary products, facilities and health education to young women who would otherwise miss a week of school a month during menstruation for lack of funds. The cost of these sanitary supplies at two pilot schools in Hyderabad, India, is just 50 cents a month per girl.

“50 cents can literally change the future for these girls,” said Ann VanSlyke of Mingei World Arts and a founder of 50 Cents. Period. “Typically, once the girls in poor communities begin their periods, they fall further and further behind in their studies, drop out and start having children. Something so simple as support for issues around menstruation can mean greater access to education, creating pathways out of poverty for whole families.”

Following the theme of the day, Turn DecatuRED, participating businesses on Oct. 22 will devote proceeds from the sale of certain items for the day or donate a percentage of the day’s profits, among other creative ideas. The businesses will be flagged with red balloons and red sidewalk chalk. Volunteers for 50 Cents. Period will roam the streets as “reducators,” handing out information, answering questions and directing visitors to participating DecatuRED businesses. The gazebo on the Decatur Square will also be staffed with volunteers answering questions and the girls 50 Cents. Period. assists in India, Nepal, Uganda and the refugee community of Atlanta. “We will also be collecting packages of sanitary napkins to be distributed to local refugee women through our sister project Period at Home, “says VanSlyke. “If you bring a full package of sanitary napkins, you will be entered into a raffle for a gift card to Cakes and Ale!”

See attached for a complete list of participating Decatur businesses, visit www.50centsperiod.org .

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.