Share the Dignity‘s annual It’s In The Bag charity drive starts on 16 November – that’s next week! This year the festive feeling is dizzier than ever thanks to the recent announcement that the sanitary products will soon no longer attract GST! That’s such a huge win towards ending period poverty in Australia. Having your period is bad enough. Not being able to afford pads or tampons when you have your period is even worse.
In this post you’ll find 5 ways you can help share the dignity with women in need this Christmas.
The sad news is that requests from charities for handbags filled with sanitary products and basic toiletries are higher than ever this year. This means there are many women out there doing it tough.
The great news is it’s fun to put together a handbag full of goodies to donate and it’s easy to drop the handbag off to your local Bunnings store.
Don’t have the time to put together a bag? Don’t worry, there are still ways you can help Share the Dignity to help end period poverty in Australia.
1. Donate a handbag full of essentials
Between 16 November and 2 December 2018 you can donate a handbag filled with essentials (and a few luxuries) at any Bunnings store in Australia.
Does it have to be a new handbag?
No, it just has to be in good condition. If you don’t have a handbag of your own to donate, you can buy one from a local second-hand shop or purchase one new.
What should I put in the handbag?
There are a few essentials that must be in every bag. Once those are in, feel free to fill it up with a couple of little luxuries! After all, this is a Christmas present. Some great ideas I’ve seen include a little Christmas card with a personal message, scented moisturiser, a gift card, hairbrush, book, scarf or even a special mug. Here’s a handy visual to help you remember what goes in.
There are also a few things that shouldn’t be put in, for safety reasons. This helps to protect the volunteers (like me!) who sort through the bags and the women who receive the bags.
Please leave out: sharps (eg. razors, knives and/or scissors), food (eg. chocolate, lollies, nuts and alcohol), pharmaceuticals (eg. paracetamol, condoms, throat lozenges).
2. Buy a handbag for yourself or someone else
Buy a Handbag with Heart and support Share the Dignity to support others. Priced from $29.95 to $299.95, all proceeds go towards supporting Share the Dignity programs.
Each bag is named after a woman who has been helped by a #itsinthebag Xmas gift. My personal favourite is the Gabi bag, pictured here.
Here’s Gabi’s story:
The Gabi is named after a remarkable young women who generously donated one of the 107,000 #itsinthebag gifts in 2017. Except Gabi gave with a difference – just the year before, Gabi was homeless and without hope or dignity. She was a recipient of one of the 2016 #Itsinthebag gifts and Gabi speaks fondly of the kindness she felt in receiving a bag and thought that even with her limited budget it was important to give back.
3. Donate a nappy bag full of essentials
The same as donating a handbag, but this version is for new mums at Christmas who need a helping hand. We all remember how essential the nappy bag was! Imagine if you didn’t have the money to buy nappies, let alone a nappy bag.
Here’s a handy visual to explain what should go into a nappy bag before you drop it off at your local Bunnings between 17 Nov – 2 Dec. Remember to tie a purple ribbon on it!
4. Donate pads and tampons
Share the Dignity runs two drives per year, in April and August, when you can donate sanitary items directly. Outside of these times you can still donate through their charity partners online.
5. Donate cash
We all know that love makes the world go round, but cold, hard cash will put food in the mouth and shelter over the head of a needy person much faster. You can make a tax deductible donation to Share the Dignity to support their programs any time of year.