Ottawa police collecting personal hygiene projects as part of ‘Project Purse’

The Ottawa Police Service is collecting personal hygiene products for women at collection boxes throughout the city.

As part of ‘Project Purse,’ OPS and partners Shoppers Drug Mart and Citron Hygiene are once again inviting residents to donate personal hygiene products for the 7th instalment of the campaign.

“There’s a lot of women that are staying in family shelters, or women’s shelters, and some of them also, people who are on fixed incomes and it’s expensive,” Det. Dawn Neilly tells CTV News Ottawa.

“if you think about it, the average girl gets her period at about 12 years of age. If you’re a single mom, and say you have two young girls, you’re probably looking at paying between $30 and $50 a month just on pads and tampons.”

In addition to sanitary and hygiene products like pads and tampons, donations of soap, toothpaste, deodorant and shampoo, and products for men are also welcome.


The collection of personal hygiene products was introduced in 2016, according to OPS. Over 8,000 purses have been filled with necessitates that were donated to women living at local area shelters.  

In 2019, police began emphasizing the products without purses.

“In our first campaign, the purses were a discreet way to deliver the products to women in need,” Det. Neilly said. “Even though we kept the name and are so grateful for the community support, we no longer need purses and really want to focus on the products themselves. We are asking that donators do not put products in purses this year.”


There are several locations where people can drop off donations until Dec. 11.

  • Ottawa police will accept donations at 211 Huntmar Drive, 3343 St. Joseph Boulevard and 474 Elgin Street between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.
  • Shoppers Drug Mart locations: 174 Bank Street, 702 Bank Street, 1080 Bank Street/Sunnyside, 3781 Strandherd Drive and at 181 Greenbank Road.  
  • The Citron Hygiene warehouse located at 150-2855 Swansea Crescent is also a drop-off location, from Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. 

All items collected will be delivered to local area shelters including the Minwaashin Lodge, Youth Services Bureau, Nelson House and Cornerstone Housing.

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