Go with the flow

Alyssa Leonard
By Alyssa Leonard March 20, 2018 09:26
A decorated recycle bin overflows with feminine hygiene product donations at the United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County Tampon Tuesday event. Photo by Alyssa Leonard

A decorated recycle bin overflows with feminine hygiene product donations at the United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County Tampon Tuesday event. Photo by Alyssa Leonard

By Alyssa Leonard

Windsor’s second annual Tampon Tuesday was a huge success. Period.

United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County, partnered with the Windsor & District Labour Council, held the event to celebrate International Women’s Day and bring awareness to issues women face when living in poverty. Hundreds of people came out to Kelseys Original Roadhouse on Walker Road on Tuesday, March 6 to show their support and donate feminine hygiene products.

According to Lorraine Goddard, CEO of United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County, 80 per cent of single-parent families in Windsor-Essex are led by women and their median income is about 31 per cent lower than a man’s. This puts women at an economic disadvantage, creating a challenge for women who have to support a family.

Goddard said the number of people who came to the event demonstrates how women can come together to support each other. She also thanked all of the men who participated.

“Young women actually have to miss school because their families cannot afford to purchase feminine hygiene products,” said Goddard. “So when you think about young women growing up in low income, facing many barriers, and on top of that, she’s missing so many days a month of school.”

Goddard said the number of people who attended the first Tampon Tuesday last year filled the bar area inside Kelseys. This year, however, the restaurant was overflowing.

Windsor was not the only city that participated in Tampon Tuesday. Hashtags like #GoWithTheFlow and #TamponTuesday were used globally on March 6 to bring awareness to the need of these essentials.

Sr. Const. Cealia Gagnon is with the Windsor Police Service and said Tampon Tuesday is a fantastic initiative going on internationally by creative women to assist communities so everyone has the tools required for positive growth.

“When I was 14 years old, I was living on my own and money was pretty tight,” said Gagnon. “So the costs of necessities like these ones make it difficult. I worked two part-time jobs but even after that it made it hard for me to figure out which funds were going to be challenging or not. Believe you and me, no one wants to sacrifice these essentials.”

Gagnon said as an officer she has first-hand experience with those who are struggling in our community and are too embarrassed to ask for these essentials.

“I think today is a celebration of kindness, as we do something for nothing for no reason but just that we can,” said Gagnon.

All donations received at the event were distributed between the Windsor-Essex Food Bank Association and the Welcome Centre Shelter for Women.

According to United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County’s press release, far too many women in the community are living in poverty or low-income. At the end of the day, many women are forced to choose between eating and buying feminine hygiene products.

“We should not live in a community where we have to choose between feeding your family, or going to school and purchasing what are basic needs,” said Goddard. “That’s just not acceptable.”

Alyssa Leonard
By Alyssa Leonard March 20, 2018 09:26

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