When is a handbag, not just ‘a handbag’?

You may have noticed big pink boxes decorated with hands and hearts around Bendigo. You’ll often find these at the entrance to stores like Bunnings and Woolworths or see them in other local businesses from time to time. What are they for?

Every year the Australian charity Share the Dignity collects and distributes around 1.5 million packets of pads and tampons to women and girls experiencing homelessness, domestic violence and period poverty.

In 2020, the need is real, and it’s local. It’s been a tough year for everyone, but for some this Christmas will be extra hard. Sunshine Bendigo, Haven Home Safe, Annie North Women’s Refuge and the Centre for Non-Violence Bendigo will receive distributions from the local Share the Dignity team.

In late November each year, in the lead up to Christmas, Share the Dignity run It’s in the Bag


There are lots of reasons why women and girls in our community might go without sanitary items each month and it isn’t just those without a place to call home. Some parents have to make the decision to buy food for their family, or pads for their teenage daughters. New mums might have to choose between nappies for a newborn or maternity pads for themselves. Or women who have had to escape a domestic violence situation quickly, sometimes with children, with nothing at all, not even a toothbrush.

Whatever the reason, the Share the Dignity Bendigo team want to make sure every woman and girl in Bendigo has what she needs to get through the day, in a dignified way; so she can walk down the street, go to work, go to school and not have to use substitutes like toilet paper or clothing during her period. The impact of donated bag can literally change someone’s life in the best possible way.

How can you help?

This year, Bendigo organisations have requested 320 handbags, 145 teen bags and 85 mum and bub bags to support local women over the Christmas period. Everything donated in Bendigo helps women and girls in Greater Bendigo.

Fill and donate a bag
Bags should be good quality, new or pre-loved in excellent condition. Something you’d consider giving to your best friend is a good guide.

There are three types of bags being collected:

  • Handbags
  • Teen bag or backpacks
  • Mum and bub bags

Essential items for every bag: shampoo and conditioner, toothbrush and toothpaste, body wash or soap, roll on deodorant and a sealed packet of pads and tampons.

Extras for Mum and bub bags: maternity pads, breast pads, baby wipes, dummies, newborn nappies, baby shampoo, baby wash or soap, nappy rash cream, disposable nappy bags

You can add something extra: make-up, face wipes, a notebook and pen, hairbrush, perfume, lip balm, hand sanitiser, a gift card or movie ticket, a book, reusable period underwear, socks, towel, face washer, a face mask, tissues, meal vouchers, jewellery, a handwritten note, a menstrual cup.

Please don’t include: food or drinks, spray deodorants/shampoo, unsealed or loose pads or tampons, pharmaceutical items (condoms, Panadol, etc.), razors/scissors.

Bags can be dropped at local Bunnings stores from 20 November – 29 November 2020

Join the local Share the Dignity team

There is a dedicated and passionate team of 25 local volunteers in Bendigo who manage special campaigns to collect sanitary items for women in need. Volunteers give their time and effort because live casinos at onlinecasinos-australia.com they strongly believe that access to sanitary products isn’t a privilege, it’s a right.

  • Follow the Bendigo regional Instagram account @laurenandcosharebendigo for updates about what’s most needed and when.
  • Interested in volunteering?
    Get in touch with Lauren, Regional Leader for Bendigo and surrounds through Instagram or Facebook