The Gleaner

Local initiative helps vulnerable women

Two years ago, Lori Belair-Boyle organized an initiative for International Women’s Day/Women’s History Month, where she collected 185 purses filled with things that vulnerable women might need. These were donated to Chez Doris and Resilience Montreal in Montreal, La Sortie in Vaudreuil, and Residence Elle in the Valley. This year, she is running this initiative once again.

Inside these purses you might find things like deodorant, tissues, lip balm, and menstrual products. Though there is no longer a tax on menstrual products, Belair-Boyle highlights that the cost can be a barrier for many people. “I think it’s unfortunate that it costs so much for our hygiene products, and that we’re not given any leeway on it,” she says.

Belair-Boyle sees this initiative as a way to give back to the community, “I’ve been very fortunate. I’ve had amazing strong women around me and whenever times got difficult,” she shares. In times where she’s needed it, women in her life have been able to help take care of her. Not everyone has a support system, and she wants women to know there are people in their corner. “I just really want women who ended up in shelters to know that they’re not alone, that there are people that are thinking of them.” She also points out that once someone has arrived at a shelter, they have already been through so much. Having something to brighten their day and encourage them could help them during a really hard part of their journey.

This year, there has already been an outpouring of support for the initiative, especially on social media. If you would like to participate, you can contact Lori Belair-Boyle on Facebook. You can also reach her at She emphasizes that the donations should be new or lightly used and in good condition. Donations will be accepted until the end of March.

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