Charity organisation Share the Dignity is asking for donations towards its 2018 Its in the Bag Christmas Appeal to help women and teenage girls experiencing homelessness or seeking refuge in domestic violence shelters.

Every night in Australia 85,000 women and teenage girls sleep rough or seek refuge in domestic violence shelters. Share the Dignity founder Rochelle Courtenay explained that the charity wants to ensure these women do not go without essential supplies this Christmas. “We wanted to give Aussie women and girls doing it tough over the holiday period a reason to smile and feel cared for as well as restore some of their dignity by providing them with handbags filled with essential hygiene products and treats,” she said.

This is the fourth year that the charity has run the Christmas campaign, and Rochelle is hoping for the biggest response ever. “We’ve been blown away by the support this collection receives each and every year,” she said “We’d love as many Australians as possible to get involved in 2018 and show the 85,000 homeless women that they are in our thoughts this Christmas.”

The premise of the It’s in the Bag campaign is to donate a handbag in good condition that you no longer use and fill it with items that will make a difference to the daily life of a homeless woman. Donors are encouraged to include basic essentials such as pads and tampons, deodorant, toothbrushes and soap, as well as luxuries like lip balm and new socks. The campaign will run from November 16 through until the December 2. Bags can be dropped off at Bunnings stores across the country. Share the Dignity volunteers will collect donated bags from collection points and distribute thought the holiday period to shelters and drop in clinics, ensuring that bags are available for women in time for Christmas.