Calgary tampon party collects much-needed supplies for northern Saskatchewan girls
Not having access to products is 'appalling,' says host Sarah Elder-Chamanara
Amidst the food and the drinks, the table at Sarah Elder-Chamanara's house was stacked with something you don't usually find at a party: tampons and pads.
Elder-Chamanara's "tampon party" was aimed at collecting something many women take for granted, but which is a much-needed luxury in some communities across Canada.
Specifically, she was moved by a CBC News story on girls in northern Saskatchewan missing school because they don't have money to buy menstrual supplies.
"Having been a young girl myself, I think there are a lot of really challenging things that girls go through," said Elder-Chamanara.
"Life is hard enough, I don't think that the added burden of not going to school, which was what they were doing or not doing because they didn't have access to the products they needed, was acceptable. I just find that appalling."
She said the cost in some remote communities is "incomprehensible and not part of the daily reality for many people living in Canada, we just take what we have for granted."
In Saskatchewan, the local group Your Time Women's Empowerment Foundation is raising funds to donate reusable menstrual cups.
Likely not the last
Elder-Chamanara first heard of the idea for a tampon party through a Facebook group and tucked it into the back of her mind. When she read the CBC story, she reached out to friends.
"The ask was come to a tampon party, so the name kind of was attention getting," she said. "The ask was bring at least three different feminine-hygiene products with you and just come have a nice evening."
Elder-Chamanara said she collected $150 in addition to the evening's horde of supplies to help buy more products and she'll be sending it all to Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River MP Georgina Jolibois for distribution.
It's likely not the last tampon party, and the next might focus on local need.
"I had someone suggest that we should do this every month as kind of a play on menstrual cycles, so I think we'd be happy to do it again," said Elder-Chamanara.
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With files from Kate Adach