Share the Dignity is urging Bundaberg residents to spare a thought and provide handbags of all kinds for women sleeping rough this Christmas.
The call is to help women and teenage girls experiencing homelessness, sleeping rough or seeking refuge in domestic violence shelters.
In an effort to ensure that these women and girls don't go without, the charity has launched its 2020 It's in the Bag Christmas Appeal.
Bundaberg Share the Dignity volunteer, Corina Robinson, encourages everyone to help spread the cheer this November.
“The whole idea is coming up to Christmas, for a lot of people particularly women who are alone, living in domestic violence shelters or doing it tough it can be a really difficult time so this something to give a little bit back,” Corina said.
“It’s in the bag is usually a donated bag. It can be a good quality secondhand bag or some ladies do donate new handbags and we’ve always got spare bags lying around so we fill them full of core essential items – soaps, deodorants and then we have women’s sanitary items too.”
The It's in the Bag campaign has a simple premise in that residents need only donate a handbag in good used condition.
They can also choose to fill the bag or donate essential items separately.
Individuals who donate bags are also encouraged to pop a thoughtful note into the bag to show these women and girls that someone cares and that they matter.
“They don’t have to feel like they need to donate a bag because we appreciate anything that goes in the bag too, even if it’s just some little thing that might make you feel good,” Corina said.
“It could just be a new toothbrush or some soap.
“People are adding little presents for mums and teenagers and notes too and it’s just to give a little bit of joy and hope to let them know they’re not alone.”
Corina said with the fallout from COVID-19, the impacts of period poverty were likely to hit females across the country hard, but that support from community members had already been promising.
In the Bundaberg Region alone, Share the Dignity has been working with 10 local charities and this year has delivered 824 period product packets to them.
Corinna said even small donations can make a world of difference.
“I’ve seen first-hand just how much happiness these handbags filled with items have brought local women and girls,” she said.
“They simply can’t contain the joy they feel, and we’ve all been moved to tears watching them receive the bags.
“And little extra treats like socks and magazines have brought out so many smiles.”
The campaign runs from Friday 20 November until Sunday 29 November and bags and items can be dropped off at the Bundaberg Bunnings store.
For more information click here.