Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Local collective gather menstrual products for those in need

December 15, 2017 by Cindy Peckham, web writer

This month, local collective Period Posse is running a drive for menstrual products through the Victoria Cool Aid Society. Period Posse organizer and University of Victoria student Lindsay Shaw says that the drive is especially important to those who are struggling.

“It impacts any menstruating person who’s maybe living at the margins and has a hard time affording menstrual products,” says Shaw.

Shaw says that not having access to these products, and being forced to come up with other solutions, can really impact peoples’ physical and mental health.

Linsday Shaw of the Period Posse (photo provided).

“A lot of people can’t afford menstrual products, so they’re forced to use makeshift methods like socks, newspaper, toilet paper, things like that,” she says. “By providing the menstrual products, it helps their health and it also helps give them more freedom of choice to spend their money on other things that they need.”

Shaw says that a box of tampons is about $7, so it can make quite a difference if someone doesn’t have to worry about that expense.

“When you can take away that stress, it gives them more options to buy other things that they need, which, I think, can have ripple effects, and, also, you’re providing a sense of security I think will change their day too,” she says.

Shaw thinks that a big reason why menstrual products are not being donated is that it’s just not on people’s minds as menstruation isn’t something we frequently discuss. Additionally, she says that organizations trying to help often don’t have sufficient budgets to address this need.

“There are places to access [these products] but there’s never enough and that’s why we’re doing the drive,” she says.

The services provided by the Cool Aid Society are accessible to anyone having a hard time making ends meet, not just for those living on the streets, says Shaw.

“Anyone that menstruates can access these products,” she says.

Donations are accepted all year, but this particular drive ends on December 20, with the products being distributed at the Sandy Merriman House and Rock Bay Landing. See facebook.com/theperiodposse for more info.

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