The Hay River Centennial Library is lending a hand to help the United Way NWT provide sanitary products to those who may not have access to them.

Since the beginning of the month, the library has been collecting new, wrapped menstrual products for those in need in the town. The call went out to ask people to donate pads, tampons and diva cups that will be put into a collection box, which will eventually be passed on to the Hay River Family Support Centre.

Trudy Hiebert, program librarian, said the response has been a bit slow so far.

“We have received some encouragement from members of the community regarding this campaign, and people seem very pleased that this collection point exists,” she said. “But it will require much more community response to make an impact.”

As of Monday, Hiebert said just two packs of sanitary pads had been donated — no tampons or diva cups — and she thinks she knows why the response has been slower than expected.

“I believe this may be because many people still view this topic as taboo,” she said.

The library joined in with United Way NWT after being tagged in a social media post and Hiebert said that was the inspiration to help out.

“Many people are unaware of what period privilege is, and what it is like to experience period poverty,” she said. “We wanted to bring more attention to this issue and were eager to help.”

According to the United Way, sanitary products are the most requested item at food banks, but the least donated.

The donation box is currently located behind the main desk at the library; Hiebert said that’s because of space restrictions at the library.

Those who want to donate can drop off their items at the front desk and they will be added to the collection.

“I would love to see at least 10 package donations made,” said Hiebert. “Any amount of donations is more than we had without this campaign, however we want to see this benefit as many people as possible.”

The collection of menstrual products is part of the United Way’s ‘Tampon Tuesday’ project.

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