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Sun. May 26th, 2024

You might think having access to essential hygiene items is a given, but that is not always the case.

In fact, according to the Share the Dignity charity, one in five Australian women are forced to improvise during their time of the month due to the rising cost of life and period products.

It’s called Period Poverty. It’s real, and our local Bunnings’ Buddies are doing something about it.

“We are pleased to be running Share the Dignity’s ‘It’s in the Bag’ campaign this November, aiming to get handbags filled with essential toiletry items to women in need in our communities,” said Molly Zarb, Armidale Bunnings Buddy Volunteer.

“A lot of people have experienced hard times with finances and others have been in crises situations, so for some these handbags filled with these products is vital.”

However, there is concern there won’t be enough donations.

“Donations are definitely down, which is why we really need the communities help this year.” said Molly.

We need your help

New research reveals over a third of women are worried about affording essential items this Christmas, while almost 20 percent of women go without the basic essentials included in the ‘Its in the Bag’ donations due to cost.

While the number of people affected by the rising cost of living is concerning, Share the Dignity founder and managing director, 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,” Ms Courtenay said.

“For the past three years, we have received on average 30,000 fewer bags compared to pre-covid numbers.”

“It breaks my heart to think 30,000  vulnerable women and girls aren’t receiving an It’s in the Bag donation and are instead going without basic essentials like period products, a toothbrush and soap.”

“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.”

Let’s to this together

If you were looking for a good excuse to cull some unwanted or unused handbags, here it is.

From November 10th to 26th, handbags in reasonable condition are to be filled with shampoo, conditioner, period products (tampons, pads, period underwear or menstrual cup), soap or bodywash, toothbrush, toothpaste, and roll on deodorant, and dropped to your local Bunnings store.

“People will often find some handbags in their cupboard which are still in good condition and then add a list of items in the bag and take them to your local Bunnings,” said Molly.

“In the New England they can be found in Armidale, Tamworth and Inverell.”

Alternatively, donations can be made online, at the Share the Dignity website.

As well as the standard handbag, volunteers will also create Teen Bags and Mums and Bubs bags to really cater to everyone’s need.

“Teen bags contain those same essentials, but we do try and put things in their teens would like,” said Molly.

“And we also have the mum and bub bag, which has other essentials like nappies, breast pads and nappy rash cream, all those expensive items that come with being a mum with a new bub.”

“Sometime people will put in nice extra or write a handwritten note to lift their spirit,”

“For those receiving one of these bags, it can be a huge relief.”

At the end of the campaign volunteers will work with registered local charities to deliver the handbags to those in need just in time for Christmas.

“We will work with local Women’s shelters and homeless shelters, places like that, that help anyone who might be experiencing period poverty.” said Molly.

Any charity can sign up on the Share the Dignity website to request these donated bags, with a big aim on locals helping locals.

“They are given to our local charities and our local people.” said Molly.

For more information or to donate, please visit www.sharethedignity.org.au/itsinthebag

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