Dignity drive calls for community contributions
NATIONAL Women's charity Share the Dignity have kickstarted this year's April Dignity Drive, with collection bins now available at four locations across Gympie.
Centre Management at Gympie Central Shopping Centre joins IGA Gympie, Cooloola Cove Smiles Dentistry and Sage + Rose children's wear in Goomeri as the collection points in the region.
The bi-annual initiative, which also runs in August, invites donations from the community to help provide homeless and at risk women and girls across the country with basic essentials such as tampons, pads and other personal hygiene products.
Gympie's local Share the Dignity representative Rochelle Davey said it felt "nice to be giving back” to women in need.
"I was the only volunteer from Gympie, but we have a few more this year, there's four of us now,” Ms Davey said.
"We're a national charity, but we collect locally and give back locally.
"The overflow from bigger areas like the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane comes back to rural areas through transport services, so nothing gets wasted.”
Ms Davey said "nobody should have to face the indignity of using paper towels and newspapers instead of tampons and pads”.
Shopping Centre Manager Michelle Boreham said Gympie is "always supportive” in helping community members in need.
"Gympie always rises up for things like this,” she said.
Share the Dignity founder Rochelle Courtenay said "so many women, every month” had to forfeit sanitary products because they could not afford them.
"The Drive touches on our need to collect 200,000 packets of pads and tampons for the undignified situations so many women have to endure. When they cannot have access to the essential feminine products women become extremely resourceful...by using wadded up newspaper, or toilet paper, or socks.
This should not be happening,” Ms Courtenay said.
Ms Courtenay said Share the Dignity additionally received "just over 104,000 signatures” in last month's federal petition to 'Axe the Tax' on feminine hygiene products.
The petition has not yet received a response.
Visit www.sharethedignity.com to find your local collection point.