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Project AIM earns almost $18,000 for menstrual equity in Fraser Valley

Money raised ‘will go far’ in terms of purchasing innovative, healthier products to give away
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Holly Johnston of Hello Period! demonstrates their pads-on-a-roll dispenser at the Project AIM fundraiser in Agassiz at Miellie Meadows Equestrian Centre on July 22, 2023. (Jennifer Feinberg/ Chilliwack Progress)

Project AIM held its annual Family Fair and Market fundraiser in Agassiz recently, and raised just shy of $18,000.

“We almost reached our lofty goal of $20,000 for 2023,” said Miel Bernstein, co-founder of Project AIM, a non-profit providing barrier-free access to incontinence and menstrual products to those in need.

Local business owner Amber Price and MLA Kelli Paddon at the Project AIM fundraiser, July 22, 2023. (Jennifer Feinberg/ Chilliwack Progress).
Local business owner Amber Price and MLA Kelli Paddon at the Project AIM fundraiser, July 22, 2023. (Jennifer Feinberg/ Chilliwack Progress).

Last year’s Project AIM fundraiser earned $13,500 over two days. Organizers were pleased with this year’s results of almost $4,500 more that last year, in only one day, when they were short on volunteers.

“The money raised will go far in terms of purchasing innovative, healthier products,” Bernstein explained, since anything they buy is at NGO pricing – or better.

The group has seen rapid growth, going from handing out $800 worth of product in year one, to $35,0000 worth of product in year three.

It was their third annual event at Miellie Meadows Equestrian Centre on July 22, and the funds will fuel their region-wide operations to hand out more diversified product to those in need, but also to increase the educational side of what they do.

Holly Johnston from Hello Period! was on-scene at the fundraiser last month with a T-shirt that read: ‘We can end period poverty.’ Hello Period! also advocates for free period products to be in accessible washrooms across Canada.

Johnston was showcasing their Pads-On-A-Roll dispenser that doles out wrapped pads at perforated intervals.

“The really cool part is that Hello Period! has a map of all the locations across B.C. that you can get free menstrual products in bathrooms,” Bernstein added.

This is the Hello Period! pads-on-a-roll dispenser at the Project AIM fundraiser in Agassiz at Miellie Meadows Equestrian Centre on July 22, 2023. (Jennifer Feinberg/ Chilliwack Progress)

In 2019, the B.C. Government announced all public schools would be required to provide free menstrual products in school washrooms, but it’s been slow to get implemented.

Menstrual equity efforts by the Project AIM leaders are yielding results, and they’d eventually like to see every bathroom stocked from civic buildings, sports facilities, to local businesses and more. District of Kent has voted to provide free menstrual supplies in its facilities, one of the few municipalities to have voted to do so, Bernstein said. City of Chilliwack is stocking their bathrooms as well.

RELATED: MLA partners with Project AIM

Project AIM has not only diversified its product offerings, but also introduced a menstrual educational series in 2023. Chilliwack-Kent MLA Kelli Paddon and United Way’s Hi Neighbour program partnered with the non-profit to offer the education series for free to the public.

“The education side will be something we’ll be incorporating into what we do,” Bernstein added. “The amount of shame and stigma we were able to dispel made the sessions a success, and worthy of continuing.”

RELATED: Project AIM takes shame out of the equation

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Jennifer Feinberg

About the Author: Jennifer Feinberg

I have been a Chilliwack Progress reporter for 20+ years, covering the arts, city hall, as well as Indigenous, and climate change stories.
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