From November 10 to 26, people will be able to donate to Share the Dignity’s ‘It’s in the Bag’ event, with essential items collected for women, girls and babies struggling to access living essentials.
Bunnings Seymour will be a drop-off point in the Mitchell Shire.
‘It’s in the Bag’ is an Australia-wide event in its ninth year collecting a new or great condition pre-loved bag filled with essential toiletry items and a few goodies to make women feel special and loved during difficult times.
Share the Dignity is a charity that is helping end period poverty, ensuring all women have unrestricted access to sanitary items.
Seymour-based Share the Dignity volunteer Simone Ispanovity said the Christmas period could be difficult for many people.
“It’s nearing the end of the year, with many people looking forward to Christmas … for some people this isn’t the case,” she said.
“Imagine not being able to afford the basics such as toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant and seeing sanitary items as a luxury.
“Now consider being in that position with infants and or young children, and maybe you’ve found yourself homeless – Christmas presents are the least of your worries and the importance of putting food on the table overrides everything.
“Christmas can be such a depressing time for many, and I feel these last few years more so than ever, we need to band together to make it special for people who may not otherwise have any kind of love or light in their life.”
There are three types of bags for donation – adult, teen and mum, and bub.
Each adult and teen bag needs to contain shampoo and conditioner, body wash or soap, roll-on deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste, and period products tailored to the bag’s recipient.
Teen bags donated must be tagged with a yellow ribbon to help identify them.
Along with the above, the mum and bub bags, tagged with a purple ribbon, must also include newborn nappies, breast pads, baby shampoo, baby soap or wash, disposable nappy bags, baby wipes, dummy and nappy rash cream.
Extras can be added including a card, skin care products, make-up, notebook and pen, hairbrush or baby blanket – everything must be new and unopened.
Bag checklists, unaccepted item lists and other information can be found at sharethedignity.org.au/itsinthebag.
“We always run out of shampoo and condition and most mum and bub bag items such as nappy rash cream and baby bodywash. So we really appreciate when people donate these items,” Ms Ispanovity said.
“If you aren’t in the position to donate a full bag, you are welcome to drop off an empty handbag into the donation box or some loose essential items.”
Share the Dignity founder Rochelle Courtenay said she was hopeful donations would increase after being significantly impacted over the past three years.
“Each year thousands of women and girls are waking up on Christmas morning in domestic violence refuges and homeless shelters. For many, an ‘It’s in the Bag’ might be the only gift they receive for Christmas,” she said.
“For those who can afford to give, I urge you to put an ‘It’s in the Bag’ together this year.
“You never know who in your life could be experiencing homelessness, domestic violence, or be struggling to make ends meet, so please help a woman in need this Christmas.”
Ms Ispanovity hoped as more people became aware of period poverty, others would volunteer with Share the Dignity alongside her in Seymour.
“We do this because no woman should have to choose between a tampon and a meal,” she said.
“Many people are ignorant to the fact this is going on and I am hoping the more informed they become, the more we can spread the word about the great things this charity does.
“In turn, I would hope more people will get on board and help me out to volunteer. You can volunteer as much or as little time as you like.”
More information about Share the Dignity is available at sharethedignity.org.au/about.