Rochelle Courtenay: Share the Dignity
Some weeks, I struggle to read and watch the news.
Being Able to Help.
Meet Rochelle Courtenay of Share the Dignity.
A little about Rochelle in her own words:
What inspired you to start Share the Dignity?
Early in 2015, an article by Mia Freedman published on Mamamia caught our attention. I was shocked to learn that in Australia many homeless women and women in domestic violence shelters had to face unthinkable indignities during their monthly period. For these vulnerable and at risk women, each month brought a shameful and traumatic experience. They were suffering indignities such as having to clean themselves in public toilets and use paper towels or newspaper to create makeshift sanitary pads. Reading it from the comfort of our homes, with the knowledge that many Australian women couldn’t take basic hygiene for granted during menstruation, we knew we couldn’t allow it to continue. We believe that sanitary items should be a right- NOT a privilege. In April and August, we now hold collections for sanitary items. Collection points around Australia help us in our mission to ensure every woman has dignity when dealing with her monthly period. We now have the extension of this with the much loved #itsinthebag Christmas appeal.
What are some of the ways people can help to Share the Dignity?
People can help us to Share the Dignity by donating in our April, August and It’s In The Bag collection campaigns. They are able to donate at participating locations. We collect all forms of sanitary items including; pads, tampons, incontinence pads, maternity pads, menstrual cups, and panty liners. For our It’s In The Bag campaign, we ask for people to donate their handbags they no longer use, filled with items such as pads, shampoo and anything in between. It’s all dependent on your imagination and your budget!
Share the Dignity ran the It’s In The Bag campaign last year. How many bags were donated?
Our It’s In The Bag campaign is run annually to provide a gift for women at Christmas time. We collected an amazing 27,000 handbags during our 2015 collection drive. This year our goal is 50,000 gifts to give to those experiencing homelessness or finding themselves in a domestic violence refuge this Christmas.
“It’s In The Bag” invites people to grab a handbag, new or in good condition, and fill it with items to be gifted to a woman who might find herself in a shelter this Christmas. We know menstrual products are great but what else might be suitable to pop into a handbag?
This year, I want to help Share the Dignity reach their goal of 50,000 handbags to gift to women who really need them. So, I’m throwing out a challenge to join me. Next week, I’ll be sharing what I’m filling my handbag with. Hit me up on Instagram or Facebook with a pic of your bag, ready to drop off at your nearest collection point! Don’t forget the hashtag- #itsinthebag
Collection point suburbs: Click here.
Donate to Share the Dignity: Click here.