Every December, I am blindsided by the chaos of Christmas. I rush to buy gifts, food, decorations – all the things we deem essential in the festive season. In the hustle, it’s easy to forget the true meaning of Christmas and the importance of giving.

Many important foundations and charities offer an opportunity for families to give back. It’s something we probably should do all year, but at Christmas time, charity-giving is a great way o reinforce that Christmas isn’t just about receiving gifts.

One of my favourite charities is Share the Dignity. Their It’s in the Bag Christmas appeal is a beautiful way for us to support vulnerable women, teens and new mums.

A simple way to give back to other mums this Christmas

Share the Dignity is a national charity that aims to solve period poverty for women and teens experiencing homelessness and domestic violence.  Their It’s in the Bag Christmas appeal collects handbags, backpacks and nappy bags with hygiene items, sanitary items, and products for newborns.

These bags go to women who are living below the poverty line, are homeless or have escaped a domestic violence situation. So far over 1,500 charities have requested bags and  Share the Dignity hopes to collect 150,000 bags through this appeal.

Share the Dignity 2019
Photo: Supplied

Some of the women who need our help are teens, some are living on the streets, some are new mums who cannot afford basics like nappies and wipes. All of them need our support and it’s really the least that we can do.

Share the Dignity founder, Rochelle Courtenay, says,

We want to restore some of their dignity with these generous bag donations. We hear stories from women who have not received a Christmas gift since they were children, so any additional items people can afford to donate really do make a huge difference.”

How can you help out

It’s incredibly easy.

  1. Donate a handbag, backpack or nappy bag in good, used condition.
  2. Fill it with items that will make a difference to the daily life of a vulnerable woman or teenager. This can include essentials; sanitary items – roll-on deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, and soap. You can also donate baby items such as nappies, rash cream, and breastfeeding pads.
  3.  If you can, add some little extras like lip balm and new socks, a magazine, book or notepad. Anything that would make a woman or teenage girl feel special this Christmas.
  4. Drop it off at your local Bunnings between 22 November and 7 December. There are over 300 Bunnings across Australia and the appeal finishes Saturday, 7 December so get your bag in there quick!
Share the dignity its in the bag appeal
Photo: Supplied

Additional Christmas Charities 

If you’re unable to get down to Bunnings to donate, we have found a few other charities worth giving to:

  • The Salvation Army –  The Salvos catalogue is full of gift ideas. Once you purchase an item, the charity will give your gift to someone in need.
  • USPS Operation Santa – Make a little boy or girl’s Christmas wish come true by adopting a letter and fulfilling their wish.
  • Windermere – Make a donation to help those who, through no fault of their own, struggle during the festive season.
  • Barnados Australia – You can donate online, or drop a physical gift to Barnardos, just call them to arrange drop off.
  • Gifts For Good – Gifts For Good allows you to go to one site, do your normal shopping, and a portion of what you spend will be donated to charity with no extra cost to you.
  • Oxfam – Instead of buying a gift for someone, give them the gift of giving to someone else. Pick a card to give to the person of your choice letting them know what you’ve purchased on their behalf.
  • Kmart Wishing Tree  Visit a Kmart store, take a tag with a description of your recipient from the tree, purchase a gift suitable to their needs, and place it back under the tree. If you can’t make it into the store, you can also make donations online.

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Author

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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