Bunnings Maryborough community involvement/ activities organiser Tam Geritz (left) with Share the Dignity campaigner Sandra McClure show some of the handbags already dropped off as part of the In The Bag Christmas appeal. Maryborough's Bunnings is a collection point.
Bunnings Maryborough community involvement/ activities organiser Tam Geritz (left) with Share the Dignity campaigner Sandra McClure show some of the handbags already dropped off as part of the In The Bag Christmas appeal. Maryborough's Bunnings is a collection point. Boni Holmes

Share a bag of dignity for Christmas appeal

LOCAL hero Sandra McClure has it in the bag for this year's Share the Dignity campaign.

As a survivor of domestic violence, Sandra was asking everyone to help share the dignity this Christmas.

"Share the Dignity is a young charity, founded two years ago," she said.

"We provide sanitary items like tampons to ladies in homeless shelters, victims of domestic violence.

"Those items are expensive and still taxed - I have heard stories of people having to make a choice between food or sanitary items - it is heartbreaking.

"There are people who make pads from newspaper and toilet paper which can be dangerous to their health."

The campaign, since its inception in 2015, has donated nationally 830,000 packet of pads and tampons and collected more than 130,000 In The Bag donations.

Sandra said this was her first year as a collector and was one of more than 2500 volunteers nationwide.

"In The Bag is our Christmas appeal, so we are asking people that have a handbag they no longer use, but still in good condition, to fill it with essential items like pads and tampons.

"We have to be mindful of the products we give to women because it can be a very distressing time for them so, no food, alcohol, sharps or condoms."

Share the Dignity hold sanitary drives in April and August and the In The Bag collection during November.

The charity also hold three events a year with Dignity in May, Yoga for Dignity in September and I Stand Up in October.

Sandra said all the money raised will go toward Pink Box Dignity Vending Machines.

"There are already 40 machines installed in community centres and homeless shelters and there will be another 50 rolled out next year.

Maryborough Bunnings will be a drop-off points for the Christmas collection drive, which provides a simple yet meaningful way to donate essential items to women who are doing it tough, experiencing homelessness, domestic violence or poverty.

"It is something you go day-by-day and don't think about it - the struggle is real," Sandra said.

"Last Christmas there was a lady who came into the domestic shelter on Christmas Day and cried when she was given a bag."

Sandra is very passionate about the cause.

"I'm from domestic violence myself and I know from my own experience how hard it can be.

"Just the thought that someone they don't know cared enough."

DETAILS

Maryborough Bunnings, 107 Ferry St will be a drop off point for handbags and essential items.

Useful items can include essential sanitary staples and personal care products, as well as something a bit more special, like a Christmas card or small note of support.

For more information visit sharethedignity. com.au/christmas-charity/.



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