Give the gift of dignity this Christmas
STAFF at LJ Hooker Gladstone are preparing for Christmas by donating for the first time to Share the Dignity’s It’s In The Bag campaign, and they are encouraging locals to take part.
Sales assistant and business systems operator Trish Blackmore said anyone wanting to contribute handbags or goods to be given to women in crisis can donate items to a basket on the office’s front counter.
“Being an office of mainly ladies we felt we resonated with the cause and we wanted to do something to help,” Ms Blackmore said.
The national initiative provides bags under three categories – Teen Bag, Nappy Bag, or Women’s Bag – to women struggling because of homelessness, domestic violence or poverty.
The bags are filled either by the donors or volunteers helping coordinate the campaign with items such as shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste, pads, tampons, maternity pads, breast pads, nappies, baby wipes, nappy rash cream and sanitary and personal hygiene products.
“It’s something that people don’t really think about and as a woman you know there’s certain subjects that aren’t talked about, like how hard it would be to look after yourself around your cycle, but also simple things like washing your hair and keeping yourself nice,” Ms Blackmore said.
She said some women in the office had taken their daughters shopping to fill bags for other teenagers.
“They’re targeting teenagers who might be leaving home because of a domestic violence situation and they don’t have access to a lot of these things.
“Especially at Christmas time you are thinking about those less fortunate than yourself. It’s about giving someone dignity, and anything that helps with dignity and self-respect in life is important to highlight.”
Ms Blackmore said people were able to donate practical items, but some also chose to include perfume and “feel good” products.
“You can also write inspirational cards to make it a nice thing as well as a practical thing, to lift their spirits and help them feel like people again and not just a cog in the wheel.”
Ms Blackmore said the bags would be given to Bunnings in Gladstone, which was a collection point for Share the Dignity, who would pick up the bags for distribution.
Bags, items or empty handbags for donation can be left at the LJ Hooker office until December 4 or given directly to Bunnings.