UWSVI Invites Community to “Fill the Bus” this Saturday, May 25

May 22, 2024 / by United Way

Victoria, BC (May 22, 2024) – On Saturday, May 25 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, United Way Southern Vancouver Island (UWSVI) will be at the Saanich Plaza location of Save-on-Foods (3510 Blanshard St.), receiving donations of menstrual products – enough, they hope, to fill a BC Transit bus.

Everyone is invited to visit and bring donations of new pads, tampons, or other menstrual products, whether they’ve been collected as part of a drive, or picked up at the local pharmacy on the way to the event.

While they are dropping off products (or making a financial donation), people are invited to experience the period pain simulator provided by Somedays, the BC-based maker of period pain relief products and campaign sponsor. For anyone who’s never had a period, the experience may be enlightening (and/or deeply uncomfortable). Self-proclaimed tough guys: consider this your weekend challenge!

UWSVI will also feature live music, fun engagement activities, a BBQ, and prizes (including a coffee machine donated by Nespresso) at the Fill the Bus event, which is supported by BC Transit and the Victoria Labour Council.

Many local businesses, agencies, and government organizations, from the Bay Centre to PBC Solutions to the District of Central Saanich, have stepped up to run collection drives. Local retailer joni, sponsor of the 2024 Period Promise campaign, has donated 6 big boxes of menstrual products – approximately 15,008 units of product.

Cash donated to the campaign will be used to purchase additional menstrual products, and local charity Soap for Hope will distribute the cumulative total to a network of local social service agencies.

A local anonymous supporter of UWSVI has offered a significant donation to the campaign and will match any cash donations up to $10,000, essentially doubling donors’ impact. People can take advantage of this match challenge online at uwsvi.ca/periodpromise.

If people cannot make it to the Fill the Bus event, UWSVI has worked with generous community partners to establish community collection points where people can drop off donations of new menstrual products. Check the online map at uwsvi.ca/periodpromise/donate-now/.

The Fill the Bus event is the culmination of the 2024 Period Promise campaign, a public push to increase access to free menstrual products so that everyone who menstruates – women, girls, non-binary people, and trans folx – can go to work, get to school, access services, and stay connected to their community.

United Way BC data show that 50% of people who menstruate will struggle with access to products at some point in their lives. The consequences could mean missing a job interview, class, or an important community event, which limits one’s access to opportunities and overall quality of life and health.

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About United Way Southern Vancouver Island

For 86 years, United Way Southern Vancouver Island (UWSVI) has served the local community and remains dedicated to supporting people in areas where they need it most. We believe everyone in the Greater Victoria region, which includes 13 municipalities and 11 First Nations and the Southern Gulf Islands, should have the opportunity to reach their potential. Last year, UWSVI supported close to 54,000 individuals on Southern Vancouver Island in building better lives. That is almost one in six people in our region being helped by a United Way initiative or funded program.

About the Period Promise Campaign

Period Promise is a United Way initiative originally started by United Way BC. From 2017 to 2022, the Period Promise Campaign has managed to get more than 1.5 million menstrual products into communities across BC, including Southern Vancouver Island. The campaign also inspired organizations to adopt a policy to provide menstrual products in their facilities, while de-stigmatizing menstruation and raising awareness of period poverty. For more information, visit uwsvi.ca/periodpromise or uwbc.ca/program/period-promise.

Period Promise Campaign Sponsors and Supporters

UWSVI thanks the following for supporting the Period Promise campaign and contributing to the fight for menstrual equity:

Gold:

  • Joni

Silver:

  • Victoria Labour Council
  • Somedays

MEDIA CONTACT 

Erik Lambertson
Director, Marketing + Communications
United Way Southern Vancouver Island
Office: 250.984.2269 ext. 265
erik.lambertson@uwsvi.ca