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Home / Programs / Basic Needs / Period Promise
Monthly menstruation products are a necessity, but for some people they can be hard to come by.
Interested in sponsorship opportunities? Contact Brent Guidinger
Period poverty is a complex issue with multiple factors. These include being unable to afford products, little to no access to washrooms, limited laundry services, stigma due to gender identity, and shame around menstruation.
Almost one quarter of people who menstruate in Canada say they have struggled to afford menstrual products for themselves or their children. And when people don’t have menstrual products, they miss school, work, or other opportunities to contribute to their community.
But United Way is here to help.
Period Promise is a multi-faceted approach to address period poverty in our communities. By working with governments, businesses, schools, and other organizations, we can move the dial and provide access to period products while also busting stigma.
United Way’s Period Promise initiative is tackling period poverty by providing free period products in schools across the region; collecting and distributing period products to our agency partners; and working with our corporate partners to educate and empower them to erase period poverty in their own workplaces.
But we can’t do it alone. By uniting with our neighbours, local businesses, schools, and community organizations, we can support people in need by making sure they can access basic needs, like period products.
With funding from the Government of Alberta, United Ways across the province are partnering together to provide period products in schools, while also addressing the barriers and stigma associated with menstruation.
Throughout the year, many individuals host product drives for United Way that the public can participate in.
A product drive is an excellent way to support United Way and the local agencies we work with, while also connecting with coworkers, customers, and your community.
Register your Product Drive
Sign our pledge and commit to supplying free period products—in all washrooms—at your workplace.
Sign the Pledge
By making a monetary gift, you will help provide period products to meet urgent needs in our community.
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FACT: The average person will have 456 periods in their life and spend about $6,360 on period products alone. This doesn’t factor in other costs such as laundry, underwear, pain medication, or other supplies. And up until 2015, period products were subject to GST.
FACT: Stigma is a significant contributing factor to period poverty. Periods are nothing to be ashamed of – they are a natural, biological process. But too many people report being shamed, bullied, or isolated because of their periods. By being upfront about the reality of periods and period poverty, we can show people that periods aren’t scary or shameful — they’re just a fact of life.
FACT: While periods aren’t dirty or unhygienic, there are health risks if period products aren’t properly cleaned, if they are used for too long, or aren’t a regulated period product. Unfortunately, this is a reality for people in vulnerable situations without regular access to washrooms, or who can’t afford products. There is an added layer of complexity for trans men and non-binary people who menstruate and have a hard time accessing menstrual products safely.