Tell me a little bit about yourself.
My name is Beth Steele, and my pronouns are she/her. I am a new mom who is eccentric and likes to live loud and be myself. I try to inspire people around me to feel the same.
I like to think I’m a pretty fun person. I love fun and actively find it and seek it out in my life. I love my friends, hearing stories and I think it takes all kinds to make the world the way it is!
What makes you jump out of bed in the morning?
Seeing what new experiences may come that day, it gives me hope.
How did you hear about this program?
From Suzi! She told me about it. I heard about Northside Rising, but I didn’t know about the Changemakers Program. She had seen the work I had been doing in my community and thought I would be a good fit.
As I mentioned, I recently had a child, and saw a lot of gaps in resources for new mothers. I started a Facebook page for mothers to exchange/ donate items as well as collecting donations of period supplies for food cupboards and drop in’s. I thought this program was a great way to promote and expand on the work I had been doing already.
How did this (your) project begin, what made you start thinking about it?
My project began with me having an excess of menstruation products that I wasn’t going to use. I started making up bags of various products and dropping them off at the food cupboards. I realized I probably wasn’t the only person that had that excess and was willing to donate.
Prior to the program, I was already collecting and distributing in the community. But it really allowed me to expand on what I was doing. I created two “ Menstruation Stations” and installed them in two community drop-ins (Community Cares Youth Outreach and The Youth Project). Each station was set up in spaces where there were already established food cupboards. I wanted people to be able to access both at once. Both the stations were painted, one of them getting painted at The Youth Project with the help of volunteers and community members. As well as the initial install of the cupboards, I also filled them with: pads, liners, tampons, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, lip chap. Any kind of personal care items that people may need.
When you think of the word Changemaker, does anyone you know come to mind?
For me, a changemaker is someone who sees a need and has the drive to change or fill that need in a big or small way. A changemaker is not defined by the size of the impact, but as someone who just wants to make an impact at all.
What are your hopes for the Northside?
There is a lot of movement and growth happening on the Northside right now. I hope that growth continues in terms of community shared resources, innovation and entrepreneurship. I hope they get more development and money starts getting spent there, and stays there.
Give me a snapshot of an ordinary moment in your life that brings you great joy?
When I’m able to just spend time outdoors with no intentions of where I’m going. Just being connected and taking in my environment with no agenda.
Beach days are nice, but sometimes you visualize a specific beach day and it doesn’t always look that way you imagine. When you plan and it doesn’t go the way you want, it can tarnish the whole day if it doesn’t meet your expectations. That’s why I really try to just be in the moment, those are the most magic times for me.
What is your best tip for making the world a better place?
Be authentically yourself so other people have the courage to do it. If everyone was themselves, we would be able to truly love one another for who we are.