The Spot | The Period Purse Blog

Supporting Vulnerable Communities During COVID-10

Posted by Sarah Niedoba on 17 March 2020

Like you, we've been closely monitoring the latest news of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We want to extend our thoughts to you at this difficult and stressful time.

As you know, now more than ever it is essential that we continue to support our most vulnerable. Members of our community who are living below the poverty line, are precariously housed or are relying on shelters and drop-ins will be hardest hit by this outbreak.

As our supporter councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam has said, we need our government to expand and mobilize resources for shelters and those working in the sector.

In the meantime, we can all do what we can to help in our community. Whether it's donating to our local shelter directly, sharing updates and calls to action on social media, or simply offering to pick up supplies for vulnerable or immunocompromised neighbours, we can take action to support those who need us most in this unprecedented time.

We know that as a supporter of The Period Purse, these are concerns you are taking seriously, and we thank you for your continued generousity and support.

Posted in: News  

No Pad? What Do You Do?

Posted by Sarah Niedoba on 8 March 2020

Picture this: You're out for the day, in the middle of an errand, a meeting or just sitting in traffic. Suddenly, you feel a familiar feeling of dread wash over you. You've got your period, but you don't have a pad.

Sound familiar? We've all faced this problem at some point, and while it can be annoying, it's rarely a crisis. A new pad or tampon is usually waiting for us in a desk drawer, a friend's bag, or at the closest drug store.

But not everyone is so fortunate. For many people, especially those experiencing poverty or homelessness, period products are too expensive, making every month its own struggle.

Some of these women generously chose to share their experiences with The Period Purse, to shed light on how they get by every month.

"There's a stigma about having your period on the street," shares Rose, a woman experiencing homelessness in Toronto. "We feel ashamed and worry about getting sanitary products. Many use toilet paper but in my experience it just doesn't work."

That's a sentiment that Amira -- who often uses toilet paper herself -- shares.

"It soaks through way faster than a pad, and doesn't stay put, which causes leaks," she says. "When that happens to me, I go to the thrift store and steal new pants. I'm not proud of that but what else am I going to do?"

Others, like Rafael, use clothing such as shirts and socks to create a makeshift pad.

"I put three or four socks into another sock and use it for as long as I can, then throw it out," she says. "Or squish a roll of toilet paper down and use that. Nothing works very well though, so we end up leaking through our clothes. There's a lot of shame about that."

Rose says that while she's been able to find places to access period products, they can be difficult to find, and many people are not as fortunate.

"I figured out that I could get pads and tampons from my doctor and a few other places, but most people don't know where to go," she says. "It would be such a weight off our shoulders to have the supplies we need."

That's where you come in.

This International Women's Day, help take this weight off of a menstruator's shoulders through our "Sponsor a Menstruator" program.

A couple of lattes. One fast food lunch. A bottle of wine. Just one of these is all you have to give up in order to provide one person with the supplies they need for a healthy, dignified period.
Through a monthly installment of just $12, you'll be helping take away just one of the burdens of a person experiencing homelessness.

Don't wait - sponsor a menstrator today!

 

Posted in: News  

Donations, Dymon and Storage - The Period Purse Finds Its Place

Posted by Micah Rodrigues on 20 February 2020
Donations, Dymon and Storage - The Period Purse Finds Its Place

It's official!

The Period Purse has grown up and moved into its own place in Toronto! Settling into a new facility will provide growth opportunities for us as an organization and our donation capabilities in the future. It also means there are slight changes to the ways you can donate in Toronto/GTA - we promise all for the better!

The new Period Purse TO headquarters are located in Dymon. Clean, bright, and state of the art, we are THRILLED to be a part of this exciting new franchise revolutionizing the storage industry in the GTA.

The new donation address:

Dymon*

c/o The Period Purse

1460 The Queensway

Etobicoke, ON

M8Z 1S4

*24/7 - drive to the large garage doors to the left of the main entrance

 

This all sounds great right? But, what does it mean for you, our generous donors?


1. No more waiting for Blitzes* to donate!

You can now donate* anytime during the year by driving directly to our HQ and dropping off your donation (but remember to email our Outreach Manager first).

*We will still run blitzes, of course, so sign up for our newsletter HERE if you haven't already to get our latest news and updates

*Not sure what counts as a donation? Please visit our Toronto West page


2. No more time limitations!

You can drop off your donation* anytime 24/7 - the facility will be open, not to mention well lit and safe.

*Be sure to give us a quick heads up before you drop off your items by emailing our Outreach Manager

 


3. Any size donation!

Have one purse? 5 purses? 200 purses? Have a box of tampons or a garbage bag full? Have a box of pads or 10 boxes of pads? Any way, any size, we will take it. With a dedicated storage facility we can take all donations no matter the size.*

*For larger donations (skid sized) etc. please contact our Project Manager


4. More help!

Have a trunkload of stuff and/or boxes of donations? Not to worry, the staff at Dymon will help you unload with ease and have dollies for your use.  Simply drive up, speak to a staff member, let them know you have a donation for The Period Purse and voila!
 

5. Treat yourself!

We meant when we said state of the art - drive right in, drop your donation and treat yourself to a coffee/tea at the Coffee Bar in the main lobby. You totally deserve it!

We are thrilled to have taken this big step and are so proud of how far we have come. Having a dedicated facility helps our scalability and capacity for donations. In other words,  more impoverished menstruators in our city will receive donations. And how could we not love that?!

Can't remember all this? Not to worry, once you notify our Outreach Manager about your donation she will provide all the details you need to make your donation drop-off as quick and seamless as possible. Outside of the GTA? Be sure to check out your local Chapter for donation information! Have more questions? Feel free to send us a message anytime. 
 

Posted in: News  

10 Important Reasons to Donate to The Period Purse on Giving Tuesday

Posted by Sarah Niedoba on 3 December 2019

Every year, after scoring last minute deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, another holiday asks you to open your wallet one more time but for a very different reason.

Since 2011, Giving Tuesday has been a day for people to come together and support charitable organizations in their community. But with so many worthwhile causes, it can be difficult to decide where to send your donations this season.

That's why we've put together a handy list of reasons to donate to The Period Purse this Tuesday. From bringing the period equity conversation to the House of Commons to packing hundreds of period product kits for those in need, we've accomplished a lot this year and to continue our important work, we need your help.

Read on for the top 10 reasons to donate to The Period Purse this #GivingTuesday.

1. We're the First Registered Menstrual Equity Charity in Canada

This year we made it official we're a registered charity, the first in Canada to fight for menstrual equity. That means reducing stigma, educating the public and providing those who experience homelessness with access to free period products so they can experience periods with dignity.

2. We've Collected Hundreds of Products for Those in Need

Our bi-annual blitzes have collected hundreds of period products to donate to shelters across Canada. This year, teams of volunteers have gathered across Canada to pack much needed supplies and supportive notes for people experiencing homelessness. At just one of our Toronto packing parties, we packed 265 purses and 920 period packs for 19 shelters in the city.

3. And We're Collecting Donations All Year Round

In addition to our bi-annual blitzes, we're always encouraging volunteers to create their own "mini-drives" with their friends, family and coworkers. That means we're helping communities gather and donate supplies all year round.

4. Even Small Donations have A Big Impact

The Period Purse supports 530 people living in Toronto shelters. It costs $15.00 to make one delivery to a community partner, $20.00 for one pair of reusable period underwear and $40.00 for a reusable menstrual cup. Your donation will help us provide these important products for those who need them.

5. We're Pushing for Government Support

With support from The Period Purse, Toronto city councilor Kristyn Wong-Tam successfully passed a motion for the City of Toronto to provide additional funding to community service agencies across the city so they can distribute menstrual products to their clients and beneficiaries.

6. Our Message Made it to The House of Commons

This year, Parkdale-High Park MP Arif Virani spoke about The Period Purse in the House of Commons, bringing national attention to menstrual equity and calling for support from his fellow MPs. It doesn't get much more high profile than that.

7. We're Encouraging Others to #SayTheWordPeriod

This fall, we launched #SayTheWordPeriod with Toronto agency doug&partners, a campaign aimed at increasing positive conversations about menstruation in everyday life. Through creative and funny videos, we're encouraging others to break down the stigma around conversations about periods and menstrual equity.

8. We're Bringing Menstrual Education to the Classroom

Our Menstruation Nation program hosts period presentations in schools across the Toronto District School Board, providing youth, educators and guardians with the resources they need to enforce the importance of period positivity at home and school.

9. We're Spreading the Word About Sustainable Periods

We're committed to collecting and purchasing sustainable period products, including menstrual cups and reusable pads and underwear. While these products aren't the right choice for everyone with a period, we're working to make them available for those who choose to use them and discussing their benefits in schools across Toronto.

10. We're Growing, Canada

We have 16 chapters across Canada and are always open to volunteers who want to start a chapter in their town. The more chapters we have, the more people we can support having healthy, dignified periods each month.

Convinced yet? Donate today and be sure to share the news about The Period Purse this Giving Tuesday to help inspire others to make the change.

Tag @ThePeriodPurse on FacebookInstagram and Twitter to encourage others to join our community of powerful period advocates today.

Posted in: News  

Legendary Canadian Singer Bif Naked Talks First Period Stories and Menstrual Equity

Posted by Bif Naked on 23 November 2019
It was around the time that Bif Naked's Spaceman came out, in March of 1998, that I got my first period. Recently, I found myself talking on the phone with the legendary Canadian singer, over 20 years since that banger was released and, evidently, over 20 years since I first started menstruating.

This isn't about me, I swear. However, if you were to tell me back then that I would be chatting with the Bif Naked about her first period story, I probably would have assumed you were talking to the wrong Dani.

Remember when I said this wasn't about me? It's really not.

Bif Naked (whose real name is Beth Torber) is a big fan of menstrual equity. In fact, she's a huge advocate for women's healthcare rights in general. When she announced back in 2008 that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer at 36, it came with a message about the importance of breast self-examinations.

When I asked Naked about her journey, she told me, "Had I not had cancer, I wouldn't have gotten an education [about] women, particularly women with barriers. Women experiencing homelessness, those who need cancer care in remote locations."

Naked realized that talking about these issues  could help provide health essentials for everyone, "from menstrual cups to mammograms."

After spending 30 years in Vancouver, Naked  recently moved to Toronto, and says she loves it. She's been working on a book of poetry, there's a new record on the way, and some upcoming tour dates. She's also involved in BMX with her husband.

Naked first heard about The Period Purse through social media, and says community organizations and charities like these have the power to support and uplift other women. Plus, the more she learned about menstrual equity, the more it became impossible not to advocate for it.

I was curious about how and when Bif Naked (remember this is the Bif Naked) first got her period. It can be a personal subject, but the question, "Would you care to share your story?" was met with an emphatic, "Oh hell yes!"

Picture this: Bif Naked, a shock of black hair down her back, a backpack hastily slung over one shoulder (ok I added that part for effect, but the rest is all true). Young Bif was in seventh grade, and it was time for phys ed, where they were playing tennis.

"Of course," she says, "I was wearing these white shorts, red stripes on the sides. Adidas made a line of shorts that looked like panties. I can't even believe we wore them! Lo and behold, I got my period."

And here's the thing they don't tell you about your first period: It's not the blue liquid you see in commercials, but it's also not totally red either.

"You think it's going to be a juicy, bright red, like when you cut your finger, but it looked more like I pooped my pants," says Naked.

Poor young Bif thought that's what had happened, and went home to change. When she realized the truth and returned to school, she adds, "I don't think I felt too ashamed. I made a joke about it. Told everyone I'd sat in cake."

The most-perfect-response.

As badass as this all sounds, I would expect nothing less. Bif Naked is a fighter. And she has a lot of thoughts about how the government, businesses and individuals can promote menstrual equity.

"I think [tampons and pads] should just be free. I'm sure there's a lot of companies, who think I don't understand business, but there should be more access for people who can't access them. There are certain things that will enhance lives, and help alleviate mental and emotional stressors," she says.

Naked feels that there should be "mutual syncing," a menstruation-inspired term for how we can help and support one another.

"Uplifting and supporting people in our community should be a shared responsibility," she says.

And again, not to make this about me, but I couldn't agree more.

You can follow Bif Naked on twitter @bifnaked. The Period Purse (@ThePeriodPurse) provides marginalized communities with access to free period products, while working to reduce stigma through education. Read what we're all about on our website.

 

Posted in: News  
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