SFU alumnus takes aim at ‘period poverty’ with large United Way gift
SFU alumnus Hangue Kim has added a bit of extra holiday cheer to a local charitable cause with a significant, and rather unique, gift.
Kim, an SFU Beedie School of Business graduate, is donating 100,000 sanitary pads to the United Way Period Promise campaign. Now a successful business owner and the lead distributor for Air Queen Canada, Kim made the virtual announcement on Dec. 18 with the United Way of the Lower Mainland and special guest, The Hon. Senator Mobina Jaffer.
According to Kim, making the donation was the right thing to do and something he hopes more companies will do this holiday season.
“Period poverty is a real concern in our community, especially right now when local nonprofits and charities are struggling to get donations due to the pandemic,” says Kim. “It’s important that these groups get the support they need so they can prevent more people from falling into vulnerable situations.”
According to the United Way, nearly one in four Canadian women or people who menstruate are unable to afford menstrual products at some point in their life, either for themselves or for a dependent.
“The impact of giving people access to menstrual products is enormous in terms of quality of life,” says Neal Adolph, Director, CLC Labour Participation at United Way. “Research has shown that period poverty is closely linked to food insecurity and, based on testimonials we have received, it’s fairly common for low-income earners to have to choose between accessing menstrual products or purchasing food.”
Adolph also noted that more than 80 per cent of the community organizations they work with in the Lower Mainland have clients who ask for free menstrual products on a regular basis and more than 90 per cent of those organizations are completely dependent on donated products to support the need.
The pads donated by Air Queen Canada are made using a unique nanofiber technology, making them the most breathable pads in the world. In the coming weeks, the United Way of the Lower Mainland will begin distributing the pads to local community partners, including Atira Women’s Resource Society, Surrey’s Women Centre and United Way’s Local Love Food Hubs.
Kim emphasized that any contribution can make a difference. “It has been a hard year for a lot of people but now is the time to support one another. We hope this donation will encourage others in a similar position to also give back, whether it’s a monetary donation or volunteering time, everything helps.”