A Nelson-based organization has partnered with an initiative to bring menstrual products to northern B.C. communities.
Moon Time Sisters BC collects products such as tampons and pads for people living in areas where such basic supplies are either unaffordable or unaccessible.
Emma Weiland, co-founder of the Endo Education Organization of Canada, is assisting the collection effort in Nelson. Moon Time Sisters currently supports 12 communities in the province.
“We really want to know how we can culturally and appropriately support these communities,” said Weiland. “We’re excited to be able to facilitate this and just honoured to have a chance to support them.”
Donations of pads, tampons and new reusable items can be made at four locations in Nelson until Nov. 22. They include: Nelson Remedy’s Rx (737 Baker St.); Vitality Nelson Health Centre (205 Victoria St.); Solis Integrative Health Centre (823 Baker St.); and The School House (1623 Falls St.).
Although the drive has locations collecting items throughout B.C., Nelson is the only Kootenay community currently involved.
Weiland said the need for such products highlights the poor infrastructure of rural communities. Donations of menstrual cups, for example, aren’t recommended. “You need clean water to clean it out, and you need access to a toilet, and many people don’t have that,” she said.
Weiland has plenty of experience with stigma related to women’s health.
She suffers from endometriosis, a painful condition that occurs when a tissue similar to, but not the same as, the one that lines the uterus grows elsewhere in the body. Its cause is unknown, and there is no cure.
A 2019 story by the Nelson Star showed the difficulty Weiland had finding medical assistance from doctors who took her condition seriously. Supporting women who need access to menstrual products, she said, is an honour.
“As a federal organization focused on endometriosis education, we really do feel that it’s something we don’t talk about enough. It just goes into this big ball of stigma.”
To inquire about financial donations, or to volunteer a drop-off location, email email@example.com. Inquiries for communities outside of Nelson can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.