If you missed it last week, check out the chat I had with Rochelle Courtenay, founder of Share the Dignity.

It’s In the Bag!

Last week, I threw a challenge out to any readers who wanted to get behind Share the Dignity’s annual It’s In The Bag campaign. It involves packing a handbag (new or in good condition) with items that would be useful to a woman who might find herself in a shelter or refuge this Christmas. Of course, this meant I couldn’t let the team down, either! So off to the shops I went. I grabbed a good-sized handbag to fill- and fill it I have! My teenage girls got curious about what I was doing and decided to throw together a bag themselves. I have friends that are madly packing handbags with toiletries and other useful stuff. It seems that the It’s In The Bag campaign is bringing out the best in a lot of people who seem genuinely excited to be able to help someone.


What’s In My Bag?

It's in the bag

  • Water bottle
  • Thermal travel mug
  • Mini Hairbrush
  • Dental care pack including toothbrush, paste, mouthwash and floss
  • Deodorant
  • 3 pack of socks
  • Antibacterial wipes
  • Bandaids
  • Crossword book
  • Pens
  • Eye cream
  • Face cream
  • Nail care set including clippers, file and orange stick
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Body wash
  • Fragrance spray
  • Scarf
  • Pads and tampons
  • Lip Balm
  • BB Cream (I went with a medium shade so I hope it’s of use!)
  • A poem- It was written especially for this bag by my friend, Angie Jorgen of Eightandbeyond.

Reading about the homelessness among women, I am always heartbroken to learn of how many find themselves on the streets due to domestic violence. I can’t help but think of others who are trapped with abusive partners because leaving would mean poverty and life on the streets. I know there needs to be enormous change and from society and the government. Whatever the reason, I don’t believe anyone should be without a safe place to stay. Until things change, I felt like contributing to It’s In the Bag is a great way to help on a practical level, woman to woman.

The It’s In The Bag Challenge.

The response to my challenge has been pretty wonderful. Everyone from friends, readers and family members have decided to take part. Some of my favourite writers have packed a handbag, ready to drop off at their nearest collection point. Here’s just a few of them, to give you an idea of why you might want to join in, if you aren’t already convinced. They’ve packed some great products to help out a woman who might really need them.

Rebecca @ Seeing the Lighter Side:

“When I was 13 my mum used to make up packages like this for a family friend who was a single mum with a baby and very little support. I remember what a difference they made to her – a few luxuries mixed with a few necessities.”

It's in the bag

Follow Rebecca on facebook here or check out her blog for the lighter side of, well, everything!

Lisa @ The Notorious MUM:

“The truth is, any one of us could find ourselves in a desperate situation at some point. No one knows which hand we’re about to be dealt. I’d like to think that if ever I was in need, there’d be someone around to offer a little kindness and practical help. Packing a handbag full of essentials kind of feels like the least we should do.
I’ve included tissues, shower gel, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, tampons, face wipes, deodorant, hand wipes, a notebook and a pen. If any of this can help a woman feel a bit like her old self, then job done.”
It's in the bag

Check the amazeballs Lisa out on facebook here.

Emily @ Em Hawker Blog:

“I often see charitable causes and promos and think, “I should do that/donate money/look into that.” But it’s often easier said than done, and the lack of transparency around some causes and charities might give me pause. Share the Dignity is a great cause with a clear motivation and a straightforward way to help. It’s in the bag is the next logical step, and knowing I could add just a few extra things to my weekly shop to make a big difference made it a no-brainer. I’ll be putting together more bags to donate as Christmas approaches.”
It's in the bag

See more from the fabulous Em on her blog or on facebook.

Rachel @ Toilets Aren’t for Turtles:

“All women have the right to dignity, never more so than during their period. I’ve collected some of the products I rely on to feel clean and comfortable for Share the Dignity’s #itsinthebag campaign, in the hope that they will give a woman experiencing homelessness a little bit of personal comfort. My bag contains:

  • Pads (day and night) and tampons (super and regular)
  • Dry shampoo
  • Mini Hairbrush
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Mouthwash
  • 3 pack of socks
  • Baby wipes (good for EVERYTHING!)
  • Facial cleansing wipes
  • Deodorant
  • Sunscreen
  • Moisturiser
  • Body wash
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Nail brush
It's in the bag

See more from the excellent Rachel here.

Tash @ Gift Grapevine:

“I take for granted everyday items like toothpaste, hand cream, lip balm, shampoo and sanitary products. Handy Hubby and I think nothing of ordering a couple of pizzas on a Friday night. After reading your interview with Rochelle last week, it wasn’t hard to forego that pizza. Instead we put the money towards buying a handbag and filled it with essential items, plus a nice scarf. 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.”

It's in the bag

Check out Tash’s great gift ideas and finds here.

Melissa @ Hugzilla Blog.

“Share the Dignity matters, because we live in a country where disadvantaged women can fined $500 for stealing a $6 box of tampons.”
It's in the bag

Get your fill of Hugzilla goodness here.

Collection points open in 11 days, so there’s still time to shop. Think of it as a Christmas stocking for someone who may have found herself with nothing but the clothes on her back. I’d love to see what you’re putting in your bag!


#IBOT @ Capturing Life.


Like it? Share it!
  • I just bought the last bits and bobs for my bags yesterday – I am going to attempt to flat lay them today. I’m going to see if this is something people will want to get involved in at work too. I just wish I had a bigger bag!

  • Hugzilla

    Love it. Amy – awesome post! Such a brilliant charity idea as well.

  • Good on you, Amy! It is awesome to see so many people getting behind such an important cause. It’s great to see your girls getting involved too.

    • They had great fun shopping for the bag- it’s nice to see them find joy in giving.

  • LydiaCLee

    I did this too – I love this charity. It’s such a great and easy idea. Mine’s up on Friday as it’s one of my Christmas traditions!

  • This is so cool. I’ve got to get started on this. Keep inspiring my ladies! I will get my A into G within the next week or so …

  • Thank you so much for telling me about this. It was lovely to be able to do something practical. My only gripe was I couldn’t fit enough in the bag! I’ll have to find a bigger one next year 😉

  • I first read about this when Vanessa Smith did a blog post. I have already sought out where I can leave a bag I am going to make up. This is an initiative I dont mind being part of but it is sad that it is even necessary. Yes, I have also read the website info on what to include or not as well. Great seeing so many others being inspired. Onya! Denyse xx

  • I really love this campaign and have become a little bit obsessed with filling bags! We’re moving house shortly and I’ve found four more handbags that I don’t use, so I’ve been slowly filling them with essentials and a few goodies, ready to donate on 19 Nov.

  • I have booked a date with a girlfriend who is going to pick up my bag and a few others to drop off at our local collection center towards the end of the month. Such a great idea!

  • Love this initiative. I’ve been sorting through my cupboards, looking at the gifted products I’m never going to use and thinking with just a handful of extra purchases, I could make up a few bags to donate.

  • Well done ladies and thanks for making me aware of such a great cause!

  • We have started a bag at kindy and I have noticed that slowly it is filling nicely. It is a good conversation starter with the kids.

  • Lauren Threadgate

    I love seeing the different items everyone has put in their bags!

  • Thanks for opening my eyes to this fantastic initiative Amy. Everyone’s bags look fantastic xx

  • I love this initiative AMy and love seeing what people are packing in their bags! Inspired!

    • I know, right- what a great bunch that joined in!

  • This is just fantastic, what an awesome initiative lovely! The contents of all your bags are going to be so helpful meaningful. I’m sharing this now 🙂 x

  • What a wonderful campaign this is! Loved seeing what different peeps put in their bags, and how they are all being packed with that most essential item: love …


  • I’m enjoying these Amy and love the concept. Years ago I went to a fundraising event and the speaker was from an organisation supporting homeless women. They were saying the most demoralising and challenging thing for many was their inability to maintain personal hygiene. She was talking more about having secure lockers in places that women could leave personal items and having access to showers etc… but it hit home how much we take that stuff for granted.

  • Such a fabulous idea. I have 3 bags ready to go and have just started working on a 4th. If I can help someone who’s been in a bad situation feel a little love, then I’m more than happy to do it. #TeamLovinLife

  • Kathy Marris

    What a great initiative. I can understand how a handbag stuffed with essentials would mean a lot to homeless women. I am definitely going to jump onboard. #TeamLovinLife

  • This is an awesome initiative. Well done you for promoting it. I’m going to jump on board and start filling a handbag too. #teamLovinLife

    • Awesome- it’s such an easy way to help 🙂

  • writeofthemiddle

    What a fantastic idea and everyone has put together items that are just so spot on! I would like to do this too – hoping I can get myself organised in time! #teamlovinlife

  • This is such a great idea, I’m going to see if I can find something similar here in San Francisco. #teamlovinlife

  • Such a great initiative and you’ve been doing an awesome job promoting it, I’d never heard about it before you shared it. Definitely going to get myself organised so I can get involved.

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