A Look Back at Our History: TPP Through the Years
A lot has happened since our Founder, Jana Girdauskas, filled her first period purse in February 2017. As 2023 draws to a close, let’s take a look at some of the many milestones that mark our nearly seven-year history.
In February, Jana made a Facebook post asking for a spare purse for her new ‘Period Purse’ idea. In less than a week, she had 11 purses.
The media picked up on the idea, and Jana was soon making local news headlines.
Within a month, she and her network of volunteers packed over 300 purses, and the Period Purse took off.
In October 2017, high school student and TPP volunteer Tait launched Menstruation Nation.
Our Board of Directors was inaugurated in 2018 and TPP’s first Strategic Plan was launched soon after.
Following relentless advocacy by TPP alongside city Councilor Kristyn Wong-Tam, the City of Toronto recognized Menstrual Hygiene Day for the very first time on May 28, 2018.
Toronto City Council also passed a motion that year to allocate $255,000 CAD in the 2019 budget for menstrual products in shelters, drop-ins and health centres.
In 2019, TPP made history as the first federally registered charity in Canada dedicated to achieving menstrual equity.
Member of Parliament for Parkdale-High Park, Arif Varani, brought national attention to the menstrual inequity when he spoke about TPP in the House of Commons.
We continued to support marginalized menstruators during COVID-19 and adapted our work as needed.
We introduced Mini-drives to keep things going during the pandemic, and they have since stuck around.
In 2021, we launched the Collective: a place where donors can support menstruators on a monthly basis for as little as $15 per month.
Due to growing demand, practicality problems, and the pandemic, we had to say goodbye to purses and switch to period packs.
Despite the switch, we remained The Period Purse to honour the distinct story that started our movement.
By TPP’s fifth birthday on February 20th, 2022, we had donated over 3 million period products to menstruators in need.
In June, we launched our Menstruation Nation App (Apple verison): a period tracker and educational resource designed by youth and for youth, which tracks absolutely no personal data.
We also run Employee Engagement Packing Parties at our storage facility: a perfect team building exercise that is also tax-deductible.
We closed our Chapters across the country and shifted to our mini drive program to make it easier and more accessible to everyone.
In June, following two years working alongside a First Nations community, we launched the Moon Time Zine to help young people learn about menstruation.
As of mid November, The Period Purse has donated over 4.9 million period products.
Our work is anchored on three pillars: Outreach, Advocacy and Education.
We advocate for healthy periods and bring awareness to menstrual inequity through our advocacy work and educational programs. We offer various period-positive presentations for schools and workplaces, virtually or in-person.
We are so grateful for everyone who has contributed to our cause over the years. We look forward to keeping up the important work we do until our vision becomes a reality: where menstruation is understood and treated with dignity, and period products are free for all.