Part of our mission at The Period Purse (TPP) is to reduce the stigma surrounding periods through public education and advocacy. Through education, we believe we can erase the stigma surrounding menstruation and shed light on the unique challenges faced by people who experience homelessness.
We are excited to announce we have a brand new initiative to help us to do just this! As the school curricula in Canada lack a comprehensive education on menstruation and period poverty, we have designed three learning modules for students from grades 5-12.
The goal of these modules is to start a conversation. At The Period Purse, we are committed to education about healthy periods and menstrual equity. We hope that awareness of menstrual equity is fostered and the stigma of periods is challenged after each presentation.
Module 1 is called Period 101 for Grades 5-8. In this presentation, we ask: what are the common misconceptions about periods? We explore terminology that generates a healthy understanding of menstruation and brainstorm ways students can reduce stigmas associated with the menstrual cycle in their communities.
Module 2 is called Period Poverty, and is open to all ages. In this presentation, we explore what period poverty is, who is affected by it and how students can work towards menstrual equity. Students work together to think of what period poverty looks like in their communities and think of ways to address it.
And last but not least, Module 3 is about Reusable Period Products, offered to Grades 8-post secondary. In line with our core value of sustainability, in this presentation we explore options for reusable period products and how these products are used. We seek to generate thoughtful and intersectional thinking amongst students by asking: are reusable products the best option for everyone?
Our presentations run 45-60 minutes and are offered remotely by a trained TPP volunteer educator in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. We ask that a $100 donation be made to TPP for each presentation.
Get in touch with Jean, Education@theperiodpurse, to learn more about our presentations.
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Every bag of period products we collect equals a healthy period for someone in need. So far this year, we've made and distributed 11,000 kits of period supplies. That's 11,000 healthy periods. But we're aiming higher: our ultimate goal is 15,000.This month, we held our Toronto Fall Blitz, a chance for our supporters to donate much-needed supplies to fill a whole new set of kits. Things looked a little different this year we only accepted pads, tampons, menstrual cups, underwear and cloth masks at our drop off locations.
It's just one of the ways we're adapting in this unprecedented time. It may not be business as usual, but we're still in the business of supporting marginalized people who mensturate.That's one of the reasons we're doing more than just our Fall Blitz this year. We've introduced mini-drives, a chance for you and your loved ones to start your own online "blitzes".
It's simple set a donation goal either by yourself or with a team, and ask everyone you know to donate. For every $12 raised we can provide one month of period products for someone in need. That means just $144 is a whole year's supply of period products.
Your time, energy and generosity will directly help people who menstruate, but don't have access to the products they need to have a healthy period.
Whether it's finding new, safe ways to donate period products, or coming together to fundraise online, we appreciate all the countless creative ways our community continues to support the fight for menstrual equity. Thank you for all that you do, and for following our work during this unprecedented time.
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Are you a college or university student passionate about making a difference for people who menstruate in your community? Starting a Menstruation Nation (MN) might be for you. A Menstruation Nation is a spirited and positive group of students and friends that wants to help raise awareness about menstrual equity, challenge period stigma and empower people who menstruate in their community. There has been growing enthusiasm for menstrual equity work amongst post-secondary students in recent years.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has put many things in our lives on pause, the struggle for menstrual equity continues. Post-secondary students are in a unique position to connect with other students and make a big impact on college and university campuses in regards to menstrual equity and menstrual health.To begin your work with the MN on your campus, think about the methods of engagement you have access to that could help reach the most people. Facebook groups, school forums and simply connecting with your community is a great place to start. The next step is to make it an official club. This process is usually found on your university website. Once you've gathered a community of engaged students, stay connected using social media.
As large gatherings and public events pose a public health risk, generate conversation and reduce stigma surrounding menstruation by hosting virtual "Menstruation Nation Conversations." Just as organizations, workplaces and families have been doing, turn to online video-chatting forums to keep the conversation about menstrual equity going in your community. You might ask participants to register for the online event by making a donation towards The Period Purse. Together, virtually, you can have a conversation about menstrual equity in your community and stay connected. We will give you ideas in our MH Handbook for Universities and Colleges.While collecting period products is a great way to tackle menstrual equity with your MN, there are many ways people can show their support. Offering online donations may expand your impact, and be more accessible and successful in light of the pandemic. That's why we've created a Team Fundraising Page. From here, you can set a target goal and invite your community to donate. Share this page with your MN and on social media.
Beginning a MN on your campus can contribute to menstrual equity by providing marginalized people who menstruate with access to free menstrual products. It can generate greater good, community and connection on your campus as well.Reach out to our Menstruation Nation coordinator, Tait to start your Menstruation Nation today.
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The Period Purse (TPP) 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 TPP headquarters are located in Dymon.
The new donation address:
Dymon Storage (big bright sign that says, "Dymon")
c/o The Period Purse
1460 The Queensway
*Across the street from IKEA Etobicoke
*Enter the parking lot off Vansco Road
1. No more waiting 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 us first).
*We are only accepting: pads & tampons (open boxes are fine), menstrual cups (unopened), new underwear, new cloth masks.
*We are no longer accepting bags, purses, toiletries, etc. Only those things listed above.
2. Come when you can!
You can drop off your donation* during business hours:
Sat & Sun 9am-6pm
*Be sure to give us a quick heads up before you drop by emailing us HERE.
3. Any size donation!
Have a box of period products or a garbage bag full? Have an open package of pads or 10 packages? 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 Operations Manager
4. Contactless drop off!
Dymon provides contactless drop off. Please wear a mask inside.
- 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 to the front desk
- drop your donation at their staff desk
- tell them it's a delivery for The Period Purse
- and voila, done!
Pat yourself on the back. You are helping those who need it the most in our city! Thank you for your donation! Any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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As adults, it can be easy to forget the visceral feeling of getting your period for the first time. But when the subject comes up, it can bring us right back to those memories.
It's something that Saara Siddiqi knows all too well, as a program manager at St. Stephen's house with decades of experience talking to young people about periods.
"There's so much to unpack, when you're speaking to young people about periods," she says. "It's not something that's talked about, so it evokes giggles, and discomfort."
She's spoken with countless groups of young women, asking questions meant to encourage exploration of an uncomfortable topic what does it mean to them to have a period? What has their family taught them about it? How do they plan to approach period products? Every topic is fair game.
Often, she's asked what it was like for her when she was growing up. It makes her reflect on her own experience and consider what she will tell her own children when the time comes.
"I'm a practicing Muslim woman, and my children are in elementary school, so they're of an age where they see my practice," she says. "They also see when practice doesn't happen, and they ask questions like, 'Why didn't you fast today?'"
Many Muslim women take a pause from fasting during the holy month of Ramadan while they're menstruating, returning to their dawn-to-sunset fasting practice when their periods have passed.
At first, Saara wasn't sure how to answer her children's questions. Now, she's starting the conversation slowly, telling her children the women sometimes get a "pass" from fasting.
"I just tell them, 'I have a pass right now, and women get passes," she says. "That seems to be sufficient for now, and when the time comes, I can build on it."
Part of growing that conversation will mean bringing her daughter into the shared experience of menstruation in a way that feels safe and caring.
"I want her to know that she's going to enter into a special club with me," says Saara. "When I was growing up, my family threw a party, and the whole family was whispering about the fact that I was 'a woman now.' If I think about that now as an adult, I kind of wish it wasn't a party for everybody. I wish it was the women in my family bringing me into something."
Saara has a friend who's thinking of having a group of women over to talk about their period experiences when her own daughter gets her period.
"I think that's something I might like to do," says Saara. "Just have a group of women over to share and talk and love her up."
It's all part of the long journey to unpack negative societal messages about periods.
"It took a long time to move past the idea that they're dirty," she says. "Now, I just try to continue unpacking those ideas and apply a critical lens to my thoughts. Everyone deserves to have access to period products, and to talk about periods without feeling embarrassed or ashamed."
Period Diaries is a new series from The Period Purse, where we'll be sharing stories from a range of people who menstruate to better understand the different ways we all experience periods. If you'd like to be featured in our next instalment, get in touch at email@example.com
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