Sandgate’s very own Share The Dignity charity is aiming to hit a massive milestone with its 2023 ‘It’s In The Bag’ donation appeal. This initiative, now in its ninth year, encourages people to pay it forward by filling a bag with essential toiletry items, including period products, as well as optional extras such as lip balm, socks, or a handwritten note.
“Each year thousands of women and girls are waking up on Christmas morning in domestic violence and homeless shelters, or living in poverty,” said Rochelle Courtenay, Share the Dignity’s Founder and Managing Director. “We want to offer them a gift of hope and love through this appeal because, for many, this may be the only gift they receive for Christmas.”
Rochelle explained that she was initially inspired to start the charity after reading an article in 2015 about homeless women going without basic period products. “I couldn’t believe I had never thought about the issue before,” she said. “At the time, I had my own personal training business in Shorncliffe and I asked my clients to bring me a pack of period products for every wine they had in the month of February that year.”
With the added support of Victoria Newton, former councillor for Deagon, 450 donations were collected that month and distributed to five local charities, with Sandbag being the very first charity they supported. Since that first initiative, Share the Dignity has grown tremendously and has donated over 4.2 million packets of period products to those in need with the help of over 6,000 volunteers nationwide.
As the charity heads into their ninth Christmas appeal drive, Rochelle is excited about reaching a new milestone. “So far we have collected over 800,000 bags,” she said. “We’re hoping to see that number surpass 1 million by the end of the campaign this year. To think of the impact that each one of these bags has is incredible, and it’s heartwarming to know that so many kind-hearted people are willing to support our cause.”Bag donations can be made at your nearest Bunnings store from November 10 - 26. To register as a volunteer, or to learn more about the difference Share The Dignity is making, visit www.sharethedignity.org.au.