End period poverty: Support the Period Promise campaign

Tuesday, Mar 3, 2020

Periods are a fact of life, but they can bring overwhelming stress and stigma due to a lack of resources—financial and otherwise. During the month of March, local citizens, labour movement leaders, and businesses will once again rally to organize collection and donation drives to help local people in need through the United Way’s Period Promise campaign. Pacific Blue Cross is proud to be the presenting sponsor of Period Promise. Join us in eradicating period poverty.

As a Health Benefits Society with deep B.C. roots and a mission to improve health and wellbeing for British Columbians, Pacific Blue Cross applauds the United Way Lower Mainland and its Period Promise initiative. As the presenting sponsor we are using our voice—and the voices of other organizations that have made a Period Promise to provide free and accessible products in our workplaces—to help remove the physical and mental stigma around menstruation. We invite you to join us.

Imagine being forced to choose between food and menstrual products. Or facing the daunting prospect of asking for pads when you’re in the midst of a gender transition. Maybe you’re at work and unexpectedly require products; what if you can’t leave because you’ll lose pay or miss an important meeting or deadline? Or, perhaps it’s the middle of exam season, stress is mounting, and student loan funds are dwindling; you’re suddenly faced with choosing between necessary brain fuel and expensive – but necessary – supplies.

Did you know: Nearly 1 in 7 Canadian girls have missed school due to lack of period protection? 

These are the harsh realities of period poverty. The good news? Together, we can really make a difference—one dollar and one product at a time. That is why Pacific Blue Cross is proud to once again be the presenting sponsor of Period Promise, a United Way campaign that collects menstrual products and funds to help make sure girls, women, and other vulnerable people have access to the items they need.

Throughout the month of March, local citizens, labour movement leaders and businesses will once again rally to organize collection and donation drives to help local people in need in BC.

Did you know: In 2019, through Period Promise, the United Way of the Lower Mainland collected approximately 500,000 individual menstrual products?

Since its inception, the Period Promise campaign has helped to raise awareness about this previously underrepresented issue. Through hard work and support from the community, the United Way has not only given away countless products and raised significant funds for those in need, they have inspired lasting institutional change:

  • Last year, the provincial government announced that all public schools would have free menstrual products for students by the end of 2019.
  • Workplaces and other organizations—from unions to non-profits to city governments—have signed on to provide free products for staff and visitors.
  • They’ve partnered with the BC Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction on a research project to determine how to solve period poverty in the province.

“Period Promise is a perfect example of how the United Way mobilizes local citizens to tackle issues in their own neighbourhoods, including period poverty,” says Rob Chiarello, Senior Vice President, People & Culture and Chief Privacy Officer, Pacific Blue Cross.



Speaking from our own experience, the Period Promise is an inexpensive but powerful way to provide support to anyone who needs it. By keeping supplies in both the women’s and men’s washrooms, we are removing any stigma or undue stress caused by lack of access—no matter who you are or your personal situation.

How can you help?

Donate money. No gift is too big or too small. Your donations will ensure kids don’t miss school because they’re menstruating. Your donations will reduce embarrassment and isolation for vulnerable adults. Your support means struggling families have one less difficult choice to make

Did you know: A donation of just $20 provides menstrual products for one person in need for three months?

Start your own Period Promise campaign. The United Way has created a downloadable campaign kit for anyone who wants to take action, complete with posters and ideas for getting your community or organization involved. Learn more at periodpromise.ca.

Make a Period Promise. Show you care by providing products in your washrooms. It’s a simple, cost-efficient move that sends a strong message that you’re a progressive, thoughtful organization.