You may or may not have heard the buzz about the Period Purse, but it is definitely one you want to consider getting involved in! There is a serious stigma surrounding, not only the word “period”, but the menstrual cycle through which females endure on a monthly basis. Many don’t even think about menstruation when they think of or see women living on the streets. The Period Purse is making it easier to address the issue that homeless women deal with regarding their difficulty in acquiring feminine hygiene products, specifically relating to menstruation. The project began with Jana Girdauskas and her one purse filled with feminine hygiene products. She would give the purse to the first woman she found while walking through the streets of downtown Toronto. As she began to notice the significant population of Torontonian women that would otherwise be unable to acquire pads or tampons, she and her husband began to make and distribute more purses. Now, Girdauskas’ immediate community donates whatever they are able to contribute to the Period Purses. As the project continues to grow, more and more community members are looking to donate their time, money, or physical products towards this initiative.
ISNA’s compass team has begun a partnership with the Period Purse and Arshia Mohammed (Social Media Manager for the Period Purse) has already begun to set up shop at ISNA! Mohammed is hoping that ISNA will help the project reach and supply a demographic of women that were previously out of their reach, such as Syrian newcomers and immigrants, with Period Purses. “We want to help where we feel we will be able to have the largest impact,” says Mohammed, “getting tampons is a standard, dull activity in most people’s lives. A person who is in dire need of a bag to keep their possessions and a few items that may be well out of their monthly budget, has a whole different degree of appreciation for the community’s donation.”
The Compass Team will be looking for volunteers to help with packaging and storing the purses, so be sure to sign up to volunteer through ISNA’s website (the link will be posted below). Be sure to select “compass” if you are looking to help with this specific initiative!
If you’d like to learn more about the Period Purse: https://www.theperiodpurse.com/
If you’d like to get more information about the Compass Team: http://www.isna.ca/1/programs-services/isna-compass