Royal Purple launches donation drive for Prince Albert women’s shelter

Members of the Prince Albert and Shellbrook Royal Purple lodges donate gift bags and supplies to the Prince Albert Safe Shelter for Women as part of Purple Thursday in 2022. – Submitted photo

Local Canadian Royal Purple lodges are collecting donations for the Prince Albert Safe Shelter for Women.

The Royal Purple is dedicated to volunteerism and fundraising for awareness and prevention of brain injuries. According to the association, about 80 per cent of domestic violence victims have a brain injury.

Elaine Perkins is secretary of the Prince Albert lodge and president of the Shellbrook lodge.

“We weren’t aware of it either, that there was that big of a percentage. That’s a lot, and I mean let’s face it, that’s the ones that have been reported – There’s many that have not been reported,” she said.

“It’s not been something that’s been in the forefront.”

Perkins said donation boxes are set up at Shoppers Drug Mart, Safeway and Gray’s Funeral Chapel, but she’s hoping to get other businesses involved.

You can drop off personal hygiene items at these locations, or contact Perkins at (306) 961-7144 to arrange for pickup. The donation drive runs until Oct. 19, or ‘Purple Thursday.’

Donations such as shampoo, conditioner, hair brushes, toothpaste, deodorant and feminine products will be used to make bags for women and children coming into the shelter. The shelter says journals are also in high demand.

“When they first leave home, of course, they don’t have anything with them,” said Perkins.

Between Prince Albert and Shellbrook, they’re hoping to donate 60 bags.

Last year, the Canadian Royal Purple supplied around a thousand bags to shelters across the country. This year, the goal is 1,500.

Perkins is encouraging individuals, businesses and other groups in Prince Albert to “paint the town purple” on Oct. 19.

“There is no cure, so we have to prevent it and bring awareness to the public of how important it is to protect your brain,” she said.

Brain injuries range from traumatic brain injuries (TBI), caused from trauma to the head, to concussions, strokes, aneurysms and tumours.

According to Brain Injury Canada, TBIs are expected to be among the most common neurological conditions by 2031, along with Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy.

But they’re not always that severe, explained Perkins.

“One of the big things with children is falls. It happens so easily, and years ago we just got up and shook it off, but it’s not that way anymore. We have to understand that our brain is the most important part of our body, really.”

The Canadian Royal Purple and the Saskatchewan Brain Injury Association are also hosting a conference on the intersection between brain injuries and interpersonal violence in Saskatoon on Oct. 19.

The keynote speaker is award-winning journalist Anna Maria Tremonti, who will share her experience with interpersonal violence.