The Spot | The Period Purse Blog

The First Step in Ending Period Stigma is Education

Posted by Vikki VanSickle on 10 January 2023
The First Step in Ending Period Stigma is Education

I talk about periods a lot, even before I stepped into the position of education coordinator at The Period Purse last September. At parties, book events, in casual conversation—it doesn’t take very long before I start talking about menstrual equity, period products, or period facts I wish I had known years ago. My narrator got her first period in Words That Start With B—my very first kids’ book, published thirteen years ago—something that young readers still email me about to this day—and my next kids’ novel P.S. Tell No One is all about puberty, including frank conversations about periods. I wasn’t always like this. It took years to actively unpack the toxic and shame-driven messages I received about menstruation growing up.

How different things might have been had I access to inclusive, period positive presentations like the ones we offer in The Period Purse’s education program, Menstruation Nation. I love the use of the word ‘nation,’ a reminder that menstruation affects a large, diverse community of people.  This fall, we decided to emphasize the idea of a nation and a community of menstruators by adding more voices to the mix in Periods 101, our introductory module aimed at kids in grades 5-8. Dr. Ullanda Neil MD, CCFP is a family doctor, Dr. Anne Hussain ND is a naturopath and menstrual health advocate , Dr. Erin TeWinkel ND is a naturopath that specializes in working with teens, and Erin Ferrante is an Indigenous Auntie who works with Kenhtè:ke Midwives.  The expertise, personal period stories, and positive outlook of these four professionals bring depth, breadth, and warmth to the module. It is a great source of information and affirmation for kids who are just starting to learn about menstruation.

Thanks to a generous donation, Periods 101, as well as our other education modules directed at youth—Period Poverty and Reusable Period Products—are free for students this year. This is great info to pass along to the teachers, principals, school boards, and youth leaders in your life. These presentations are an excellent supplement to health, sex-ed or social justice curriculum. Sit back and let our trained Menstruation Nation presenters take the lead with up-to-date, period-positive, and inclusive information. In my work with Menstruation Nation, I have learned you’re never too old to learn about menstruation. Maybe your adult group is curious about the environmental impact of period products or is interested in learning about how you can help the people in your community who cannot afford products. Be sure to check out our adult education modules, Advocacy for Period Equity in Canada or Plant Positive Periods: Sustainable Periods from Aisle.

There are two stats from recent studies that both haunt and motivate me in this work. The first is that only 46% of Canadians are comfortable talking about periods, ranking it below politics, sex, and STIs (Let’s Talk Periods Report). That is a shocking number to me. The second stat is that one third of all menstruators in Canada under the age of 25 struggle to afford products (Plan Canada). That’s a lot of people. But we can’t address financial barriers and equity if we’re not comfortable talking about periods in general. It’s 2023, isn’t it time we took that stigma out of menstruation? Educate yourself and offer the gift of education to the young people in your life. Join the Menstruation Nation and become #StigmaFreein23!

Posted in:News  

Donations, Dymon and Storage

Posted on 28 December 2022
Donations, Dymon and Storage

The Period Purse (TPP) has a storage unit in Toronto, that provides you a drop off location year round! (Sorry, you do have to have access to a car.)

1. Come when you can!

The TPP headquarters are located in Dymon Storage.

1460 The Queensway, Etobicoke (near Kipling & The Queensway)

You can drop off your donation during business hours:

Monday-Friday 8am-9pm
Sat & Sun 9am-6pm

Dymon Storage (big tall sign that says, "Dymon")
The Period Purse
1460 The Queensway
Etobicoke, ON
M8Z 1S7

* Across the street from IKEA Etobicoke, north side of Queensway
* Enter the parking lot off Vansco Road

2. Bring all your donations!

We are only accepting: pads & tampons (open boxes are fine), menstrual cups & discs (new), cloth pads (new), and underwear (new).

* we are no longer accepting bags, purses, toiletries, etc.

For larger donations (skid sized, etc.), please contact our Operations Manager.

3. Easy drop off!

Dymon provides quick & easy drop off.

- park in front of their retail store (yes, it looks like a store, not a storage unit)- this entrance is closest to Ikea, facing Vansco Road
- enter through their double sliding doors
- drop your donation at the front desk
- tell them it's a delivery for The Period Purse

4. Snap a picture, share and tag!

Take a picture of your donation- tag us on IG @theperiodpurse

Pat yourself on the back. You are helping those who are impacted by period poverty!

Thank you for your donation! Any questions, please email us.

Posted in:News  

Choosing Sustainable Period Products

Posted by Jannie Nheng on 26 November 2022
Choosing Sustainable Period Products

Period products like tampons, liners and pads, are made with plastic, which has negative ecological impacts on our environment. These products can take up to 450 years to decompose in landfills, sewer systems and waterways. If you are looking for more ecologically friendly period products, take heart! There are many reusable options on the market to consider. 

Consider the options available 

Over the course of a lifetime, a single menstruator will use an average of 4,000 pads and tampons, so there are ample opportunities to find the right reusable product. 

Trina, mother of a 12 year old, offers advice on how she helps her kids choose the right products.She says, “my advice to other parents is to talk to your child. Let them know what's out there - explore it together and ask them what they think works best for them. I try to have several options available at home for when they are needed. We went to the Knix store with one of my child's friends and their mother.” 

“We let the kids pick out the styles they found most comfortable and then went out for ice cream. We made it into a special day.”

When menstruators have access to credible information, it can help them better understand their bodies, make good decisions for their health and make informed choices about which menstrual products to use. 

Angela, mother of two shared, “I used disposable pads until I was a young adult because my mother was worried that using tampons meant you weren't a virgin so she told me to just use pads! As a nurse, it was very important that my kids only have accurate information (unlike what I was taught!) so they were given factual information about [period products] right from the start.”

“Figure out what works best for you”

Finding the right reusable product can take time. Angela suggests, “figure out what works best for you, and what your preferences are for each stage of your period.  For my teens, they prefer cloth pads just overnight and on days they'll be home so they don't have to change them somewhere else.” 

The demand for more sustainable period products has increased and fortunately options have never been greater.  Start exploring different products out there! 



Posted in:News  

Why are periods harder for some than others?

Posted by Sammi Ho on 1 October 2022
Why are periods harder for some than others?

Periods have no gender. But many of us don’t think about that. Hi, I’m Sammi Ho (she/her) and I am the Community Engagement Strategic Associate at Friends of Ruby. Friends of Ruby is dedicated to serve 2SLGBTQIA+ youth through free counselling, case management, and transitional housing. This year, we’re teaming up with The Period Purse to highlight how periods really do have no gender!

For the 2SLGBTQIA+ youth that we serve at Friends of Ruby, financial barriers can be a challenge that they face. Free period products address this challenge and provide accessibility for youth. 

Menstruation for trans youth can be challenging due to the gender dysphoria that can be experienced when purchasing period products. Providing period products in a free and discreet way alleviates the stress that may come with purchasing period products; thus, eliminating barriers to access. 

It is important to have period product options for those who have periods. This maximizes the comfort experienced when menstruating. Access to reusable products is not only environmentally friendly, but also a financially conscious option for those who have financial barriers. 

Do you want to learn more? Or know someone who would love this information? Friends of Ruby has a number of programs that are available at the drop-in centre, for 2SLGBTQIA+ youth (ages 16-29). Upcoming programs are the following: 

  • Expressive Arts Program – for 2SLGBTQIA+ newcomers 

  • Harm Reduction Program – every Monday from 1pm-3pm 

  • Period Information Session – financial barriers and reusable products (stay tuned later this Fall for this announcement in collaboration with The Period Purse)


Posted in:News  

The Ins and Outs of Creating an App

Posted by Emilia K. on 16 September 2022


It was one idea, and many months later we created a period tracking app!

It was the summer of my grade 11 year, when I learned about youth participation with The Period Purse (TPP )- it was an opportunity to create a period tracking app. Students from a University of Toronto club were looking to collaborate with a nonprofit organization to turn an idea into reality. We had to “keep this project confidential” until it launched. After working on the app all school year, Menstruation Nation (M. Nation) went live in the app store in May 2022!

Creating this app wasn’t easy, there was a lot of behind the scenes work to make this a reality. It required many hours of commitment from the entire team. We had bi-weekly meetings to discuss details ranging from design elements, privacy and security to launch plans for the project.

One important detail was to ensure that users privacy and personal data would not be shared. We also wanted a design that was user friendly, seamless and smooth for an enhanced user experience. But mainly, we wanted an educational app. And an educational app, it is! It includes a series of educational snippets about menstrual cycles and how to manage periods with dignity. 

After collaborating on several technical aspects of the project, the most rewarding part for me was filming the official brand video of the app with a professional crew. It made the project feel real. The entire team is incredibly proud that an official app was created!  

I was given the opportunity to work on a rewarding task, and volunteering with the TPP has been a wonderful experience. Here’s to Menstruation Nation app reaching as many menstruators as it can.


Posted in:News  
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