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Good things come in small packages this holiday 

Mount Saint Vincent University student bringing personal care items to the less-fortunate.

click to enlarge Aiden Quinn says personal care items like tampons and pads are often overlooked in donations to local shelters. - ALEX COOKE
  • Aiden Quinn says personal care items like tampons and pads are often overlooked in donations to local shelters.
  • Alex Cooke

An MSVU student is hoping to alleviate the high cost of dignity this holiday season for disadvantaged women and trans people.

Aiden Quinn, 23, is raising money to make care packages filled with things like tampons, clean underwear, wet wipes and other personal care items. Around Christmas time, he’ll be donating them to Adsum House where they’ll be going to women and LGBTQ people in need.

Quinn says shelters are always looking for things like pads and tampons for women living on the street. “It’s kind of overlooked in shelters because people don’t really think to buy them,” he says. “Usually people buy like, canned goods and non-perishable food, and that’s great, but it’s not good enough.”

Quinn says this project isn’t just for women. Since queer and transgender people have a higher risk of being homeless, he wants to focus on them too. “I know a lot of people who, when they come out as trans or when they come out as queer, their parents will disown them or kick them out and they have to find somewhere to live,” he says. “I know there’s not really a lot of resources around here for that and I’ve been in that situation before in my life.”

Quinn, who is trans himself, got the idea when he saw a video online about homeless women in New York not being able to get ahold of menstrual products because of the high cost. As someone who attends university and lives off student loans, Quinn thinks the sky-high prices of tampons and pads are ridiculous.

“I have money and I still hate buying them because it’s so much money for something that’s a necessity for all people who have uteruses,” he says. “So imagine how people who have nothing feel.”

The care packages cost around $23 to make. Right now Quinn is paying mostly out of pocket with the help of his girlfriend and friends, but he’s looking for donations as well. He has a crowdfunding page up and running, and he’s spoken to the MSVU student union about holding bake sales at his school to raise more funds.

Quinn is hoping the project will help brighten the holidays. “I’m already in the Christmas spirit, and I’ve been listening to Christmas music since September,” he says. “So I’m just kinda like, ‘We need to do this!’”

You can donate to Quinn’s crowdfunding page here.

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