The Women Helping Women Purse Initiative has collected more than 3,000 purses filled with feminine hygiene. The project was started by Ottawa resident Heidi Danson in October this year, when she came up with the idea after reading a magazine article about the lack of access homeless women had to menstrual supplies.
“It’s difficult being homeless in Ottawa for anyone, but it’s particularly difficult for women when they have their period and they can’t access sanitary products,” said Danson.
Ottawa Police Constable Sylvie Reaney joined Danson shortly after the project launched. Initially, the goal of the campaign was to gather 50 purses.
The campaign challenges women to fill their unused purses with all kinds of women’s products, with a focus on feminine hygiene items.
“It’s one of those things that you don’t think about when you consider making a donation to a homeless shelter and so sanitary products get overlooked,” said Danson. “From the response we received, I think we met the goal of raising awareness for this issue. Hopefully, this can continue year round.”
The purses provide a discreet way to distribute the products to women in need.
The purses will be distributed to local homeless shelters, women’s centres, the Syrian Refugee Program and CAS.
“The response has been incredible,” said Cst. Reaney. “I think every woman has experienced a time when they found themselves with their period and without supplies, so this has really resonated with them.”
Sylvie and Heidi hope that donations will continue throughout the year.
Friday December 18 is the last day purses can be dropped off at the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa or Ottawa Police Stations<http://www.
After December 18, purses can be dropped off directly to the following shelters: Minwaashin Lodge<https://www.google.ca/?