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Fifty thousand pads and tampons collected as part of Ottawa Police Service’s 2021 ‘Purse Project’


The annual drive for personal care products wrapped up Dec. 12, 2021

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It was a really good year for the Ottawa Police Service’s annual “Purse Project” said the project organizer Const. Dawn Neilly. She estimated 50 thousand packages of pads and tampons were donated by the community to be given to shelters in Ottawa in time for the holidays.

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The Purse Project began in 2016 by asking the community to donate purses so the OPS could discreetly provide women in shelters with bags full of hygiene supplies.

After receiving thousands of purses in those first years, the service no longer needs them. Instead, they ask the public to focus on donating supplies like tampons, pads, shampoo, toilet paper, toothpaste, toothbrushes and deodorant.

“Women can’t opt-out of having their period,” said Const. Dawn Neilly, organizer of the project. “Sometimes people will show up at these shelters and they just have the clothes on their back, right? For them, spending five or ten dollars a month on feminine products is a bit of a hardship.

It was a really good year for the Ottawa Police Service’s annual “Purse Project” said the project organizer Const. Dawn Neilly. She estimated 50 thousand packages of pads and tampons were donated by the community to be given to shelters in Ottawa in time for the holidays.
It was a really good year for the Ottawa Police Service’s annual “Purse Project” said the project organizer Const. Dawn Neilly. She estimated 50 thousand packages of pads and tampons were donated by the community to be given to shelters in Ottawa in time for the holidays. Photo by Tony Caldwell /POSTMEDIA

“Our idea is that we can just fill the shelters with it and they can distribute it no problem and women don’t have to worry about that stress.”



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