Nobody should have to choose between a meal and the ability to afford basic hygiene products – an unfortunate reality for vulnerable women in our community. From April 1-30, the United Steelworkers (USW) and United Way will be collecting feminine hygiene products to give all women dignity during their time of the month.
“It’s important for United Way to bring awareness to this often overlooked issue. By partnering with the United Steelworkers we can bring many people together to advocate for change. These products need to be more available to women, especially those who are already struggling to meet their basic everyday needs,” says Sarah Sandholm, Senior Resource Development Manager with United Way.
Tampon Tuesday is a national campaign that has turned into a local, month-long initiative following inspiration from a successful drive by the United Way of the Lower Mainland and the Canadian Labour Congress that collected over 166,000 menstrual products.
Two men may seem like unlikely co-chairs for a Tampon Tuesday campaign, a fact Eric Will of USW Local 1-417 recognizes.
“Honestly what do we possibly know about the struggles of being a woman? Whenever I have tried to put myself in the shoes of someone less fortunate, I have always envisioned myself as a man, and I believe that is where the issue begins,” says Will. “The fact that there are still women forced to make this decision in Canada, is unacceptable.”
“We understand men may have never purchased a box of tampons and it might be a little uncomfortable to go to the store. This small gesture will help women in need more than you may realize,” adds Tampon Tuesday Co-Chair, Phil Ducharme of USW 1-417.
Menstruation and the need for menstrual products is not a topic that many are willing to talk about. It’s personal, and for some, it’s a source of shame and embarrassment. For struggling families, the issue is compounded when the need is there for both parents and kids. So, while it’s too often a silent issue, the need is very real.
Will notes, “Our hope is that one day menstruation products will be freely available to all those who require them. But until that day, your help is needed. Period.”
Drop off hygiene items at either location below or contact 250.372.9933 to arrange for a pickup on May 1st.
United Steelworkers Local 1-417 United Way Thompson Nicola Cariboo
181 Vernon Ave 177 Victoria Street
United Way inspires people from all walks of life to come together to raise funds, volunteer and stimulate policy and attitude changes that lead to lasting change in our entire region. We work to make our communities the best they can be by focusing resources on creating pathways out of poverty, supporting children and youth and strong communities.