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Campaign calls on Great Southern community to dig deep for women and girls in need this Christmas

Headshot of Sarah Makse
Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
Share the Dignity WA team leader Asha Bhat, Bunnings Albany activities/community organiser Lisa Gungor and volunteer Sarah Dunn.
Camera IconShare the Dignity WA team leader Asha Bhat, Bunnings Albany activities/community organiser Lisa Gungor and volunteer Sarah Dunn. Credit: Sarah Makse / Albany Advertiser

The Great Southern community is being asked to dig deep to support women and girls through difficult times this festive season by donating bags of essential items.

This year marks Share the Dignity’s seventh “It’s in the bag” campaign which calls on Australians to donate handbags and other bags filled with essential items for females experiencing or at risk of homelessness or domestic violence.

By filling the bags with essential items including pads and tampons, deodorant, toothbrushes, shampoo, soap and little luxuries, the campaign aims to ensure women and girls in crisis do not have to worry about sourcing the essentials.

Albany Bunnings Warehouse will join stores across the country as a donation point for the campaign with a brightly decorated donation box at the front of the store from this Friday to November 28.

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Share the Dignity WA team leader Asha Bhat urged the community to help gather donations for five organisations in the Great Southern that had requested about 500 bags ahead of this year’s drive.

“I can’t imagine what these women are going through so to be able to donate something useful that will brighten the day of someone who truly needs it — it’s just the right thing to do,” she said.

“Domestic violence has surged since Australia went into lockdown and support services are under pressure to ensure those fleeing have all the basics.

“These handbags will be delivered by volunteers to just some of the women in need.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed more women and girls below the poverty line nation-wide putting them at greater risk of homelessness and domestic violence, according to Share the Dignity.

This has extended to everyday Australians which has resulted in a drop in donations in 2020, with Share the Dignity receiving 50,000 fewer bags compared to 2019.

Ms Bhat said they were expecting to have a record 25,000 requests from charities in WA this year.

“For many women and girls, this is the only gift they will receive this Christmas,” she said.

“That’s why we’re encouraging Western Australians to give where they can, in whatever way they can.”

For information, contact Ms Bhat on wa.teamleader@sharethedignity.org.au.

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