02/13/2015 11:58 EST | Updated 04/15/2015 05:59 EDT

Galentine's Day hits Vancouver's Downtown Eastside

Forget Valentine's Day, say Trixie Hernandez and Tessa Yin, who will forgo the chocolate and the flowers this year. They're celebrating Galentine's Day.  

Made popular by NBC's hit comedy seriesParks and Recreation, Galentine's Day takes place on Feb. 13 and is all about "ladies celebrating ladies," says lead character Leslie Knope, portrayed by Amy Poehler.

Inspired by the mock holiday, two UBC students are starting a new initiative to pamper and celebrate the women of the Downtown Eastside.  

"On Valentine's, everyone makes a big deal about feeling pretty and feeling loved," said Hernandez. 

"We wanted to make a point that you don't need romantic dates and options like that. It's about celebrating who you are, and loving yourself as a person."  

Gift bags filled with cosmetics and toiletries

Hernandez and Yin, co-founders of The Foundation Foundation, will donate more than 200 gift bags to the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre and Wish Vancouver, two organizations that support at-risk women who have experienced domestic violence, human trafficking and poverty.  

Each bag will contain donations in the form of new or lightly used toiletries, cosmetics and feminine hygiene products.

Items such as blush, eye shadow, lotion and shampoo can go a long way to helping women overcome past trauma and boost their self esteem, Hernandez said.  

"People often forget that women in these shelters are regular women too. They're just not in the best circumstances," she said.

 To hear the full interview with Trixie Hernandez, click the audio above labelled: Galentine's Day in Vancouver.