EVERY MONTH homeless women in Australia face indignities during their period.
This year, students from New England Girls’ school are participating in the It’s In the Bag campaign to donate sanitary items to those that need them most this Christmas.
Year 12 student Erin Gaff said the boarding school students had been packing donated handbags with sanitary items and handwritten Christmas cards to give to homeless women.
“We really wanted to be able to give them something beautiful on Christmas to brighten their day,” she said.
“We wrote cards and put them inside the bags saying we hoped they had a good Christmas and that we’re trying to help them have a good Christmas by giving them supplies.
“Some of us put in brand new wallets, nail polish or other feminine items for them to have as well.”
The idea was the brainchild of house mother Donna Garrad who hopes it will become an annual event.
The It’s In the Bag initiative is part of the Share the Dignity campaign, established by Rochelle Courtenay as a response to an article by Mamamia’s Mia Freedman.
Homeless women and those in domestic violence shelters often have to clean themselves in public toilets and use paper towels or newspaper to create makeshift sanitary pads.
The donations are in lieu of the usual Secret Santa tradition.
Boarder Bridget Sutton said she preferred to spend $20 on sanitary items than on chocolate for a friend for Christmas.
“I know it’s going towards something more important instead of to someone who doesn’t really need it," she said.
“We’re very privileged, it feels nice that we can actually do something like that for them.
“We have it so easy and they have it so hard, if you think about how they live it’s not fair, so it was good that we could do something like this to give back to them.”
Each of the young ladies said the exercise had taught them a lot about the true meaning of Christmas.
“It’s taught me a lot, Christmas really is about giving and it feels good to do something for those that are less fortunate,” Erin said.