BAG OF HOPE: Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher, Women's Health Centre Cindi Bush and OzCare's Sallie Kearnan looking through some of the bags already donated.
BAG OF HOPE: Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher, Women's Health Centre Cindi Bush and OzCare's Sallie Kearnan looking through some of the bags already donated. Helen Spelitis

Just $20 will buy some dignity to donate

GOT a spare $20 and an old hand bag?

You could use it to give a woman back her dignity.

Three days ago Gladstone Women's Health Centre began asking for donations of old handbags filled with essential items including tampons and pads to give to women escaping domestic violence.

Already more than 30 have been dropped off.

It is part of a campaign 'Share the Dignity' giving homeless and at risk women across Australia sanitary products.

Although there are some homeless women in need in Gladstone, the bags will mostly go to women living in shelters after escaping domestic violence situations.

The bags are also being handed out to any woman who approaches the centre asking for help.

Cindi Bush is one of the organisers behind the campaign and said this week they'd already given a bag to a young homeless girl.

SPARE CHANGE?: Just $20 worth of personal items in an old handbag can make a woman's day. Photo Helen Spelitis / Gladstone Observer
SPARE CHANGE?: Just $20 worth of personal items in an old handbag can make a woman's day. Photo Helen Spelitis / Gladstone Observer Helen Spelitis

"Just $20 or $20 worth of sanitary products, body wash, and any personal hygiene product really would mean the world to these women," Ms Bush said.

"Generally they are overwhelmed when we give them one because they have absolutely nothing.

"The biggest impact isn't the products inside the bag, it's knowing the community cares about them - that someone thought of them - and that gives them a reason to trust people again."

OzCare Gladstone, who run the women's shelters, and MP Glenn Butcher are also spearheading the campaign with Mr Butcher offering up his office as a drop off point.

"It's part of my responsibility as the member for this community to do what I can to help the people most vulnerable and most in need," Mr Butcher said.

"But we are also involved because the women in my office are very passionate about caring for other women. These women staying in the shelters often leave their home with nothing but the clothes they are wearing. These bags will make a real difference for them."

Here are some examples of the items to include in the bags - the little essentials we take for granted;

  • Nail files
  • Face wipes
  • Cotton wool buds and tips
  • Leg shavers
  • Shampoo conditioner
  • One lady put a sunhat in
  • Sunscreen
  • Body wash
  • Tissues
  • Tampons and pads
  • A gift card - inside a Christmas card
  • Mozzie spray
  • Band-Aids
  • Lip balm
  • Make up sponges
  • Tooth brush
  • Tooth paste
  • Hairbrush
  • Hair bands
  • Bobby pins

'Back to school' donations would also be welcome if anyone would like to fill a backpack with school supplies.



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