Woman wants to show Calgary’s unhoused they are worthy and valued

Alycia Two Bears has been putting together Moon Time Bags for almost two years

By Leanne Murray | September 23, 2022 |5:00 am

Moon Time Bags include menstrual products, chocolate, lip balm, and sage.

Photo: Submitted

A local woman is on a mission to ensure Calgary’s unhoused know they are worthy and valued.

Alycia Two Bears started the Moon Time Bag Initiative almost two years ago. She puts together kits for those in need that include items such as tampons, pads, liners, underwear, chocolate, and lip balm: “The things that we who are housed take for granted,” Two Bears says.

The initiative started with around $300 that Two Bears received to teach a yoga class for the Young Pipeliners Association of Canada.

Two Bears has a personal and public anti-pipeline stance, but she opted to keep the booking out of professionalism.

She decided to take the money she was paid for the class and put it toward a good cause.

“I wanted to immediately put the funds back into community,” Two Bears says.

Teaming up with Bear Clan Patrol Calgary

A friend suggested Bear Clan Patrol Calgary, which had put the call out for donations of menstruation products.

Two Bears went on a shopping trip to pick up some menstrual items and put together the first Moon Time Bags. She says volunteers with the Bear Clan Patrol received very positive feedback when handing out the kits, so she decided to continue the initiative.

Since the Bear Clan Patrol meets a lot of Indigenous kin on Calgary streets, Two Bears decided to add bundles of sage and strike-anywhere matches to the Moon Time Bags.

“Across a variety of teaching of nations, sage is one medicine that is routinely burnt while you’re bleeding,” Two Bears says.

She adds that being unhoused can cause stress and that the sage can be placed near your heart or in your socks for protection.

“You’re still worthy of medicine and love regardless of what your life might feel like right now.”

Sage is included in the Moon Time Bags.

Living in reciprocity

Two Bears says Indigenous communities are in constant distress and that the Moon Time Bag Initiative is a reminder to live in reciprocity.

“Unfortunately, I can’t give away oodles of money, but I can prepare packages to remind people that they’re still valued and their needs are going to be met through community,” she says.

“This is a gift to be able to do something like this, but at the same time… it’s a band-aid solution.”

Two Bears says more needs to be done when it comes to eliminating houselessness and poverty.

As for period products, Two Bears says Canada should follow Scotland’s lead and make them free.

“I think of single moms who are living off of their child tax benefits and it’s expensive. So now you’re scrunching up toilet paper to try and save money and it’s just a literal mess.”

Moon Time Bags are distributed to those in need.

Helping meet a very basic need

In the meantime, Two Bears says she will continue to do her small part to help alleviate a bit of the financial burden to meet a very basic need.

Aside from the initial shopping trip with the money Two Bears made from the yoga class, the Moon Time Bag Initiative has been funded entirely by monetary and product donations.

A friend of Two Bears ran a fundraiser last year, which brought in more than $2,000 and just over $1,800 this year.

Two routine volunteers also help Two Bears by picking up supplies, packing the kits, and dropping them off at the Bear Clan Den.

Two Bears is always in need of donations of underwear in sizes XS to XXXL, regular and super tampons, overnight pads, lip balm, and chocolate.

Donations for the Moon Time Bag Initiative can be dropped off at the Bear Clan Den, located on the lower level of Good Neighbour YYC.

Monetary donations can also be sent to goodwomanmedicine@gmail.com or alyciatwobears@gmail.com.

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Leanne Murray

Leanne is a Calgary Citizen reporter.

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