Call for care bags before Christmas

Zoe KeenanSouth Western Times
Share the Dignity South West volunteers Trish Robinson, Sharon Calgaret, Aileen Delahunty, Stacey Gillespie and Mel Baruffi prepare for their busiest drive yet.
Camera IconShare the Dignity South West volunteers Trish Robinson, Sharon Calgaret, Aileen Delahunty, Stacey Gillespie and Mel Baruffi prepare for their busiest drive yet. Credit: Zoe Keenan

South West Share the Dignity volunteers have been inundated with thousands of requests for essential items for vulnerable women this Christmas.

Their #itsinthebag campaign drive starts tomorrow with collection points at Bunnings in Bunbury and Australind.

Volunteers, who have already received 2400 requests for bags from South West charities, are urging more people to get behind the movement and support vulnerable women in their communities.

The idea is to donate old bags or handbags that people are no longer using and fill them with basic, essential items.

Items include shampoo, conditioner, soaps, a toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, conditioner, pads and tampons.

Bonus items encouraged are baby wipes, tissues, perfume, hair brushes, towels, books, meal vouchers or a handwritten note or Christmas card.

South West volunteer Trish Robinson said last year the group put together 1800 care bags for women in the South West.

Already this year the group has received 2400 orders, blowing last year’s requests out of the water.

In her three years volunteering with the group she said every year they had increased their footprint, more charities were learning about their services and the demand continued to grow.

“It is so needed... I had two phone calls from mental health services in the last few months about two women who had presented to hospital and were given the bags,” Ms Robinson said.

“They cried because they had been given the bags and they’d never been given anything before, nobody had given them a gift.

“It can be really quite life changing; the evidence is that we do make a difference.

“These bags are essentially Christmas gifts for women who don’t have anything. It assists with their mental health and assists with their self-worth.”

The group have urged people not to include pharmaceutical items, food or drink, razors or scissors and loose tampons and pads.

Donations will be accepted until December 7.

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