Need greater due to COVID

Chloe FraserSound Telegraph
Woolworths Waikiki employee Shelly Cassidy and local Share the Dignity coordinator Katrina Muirhead.
Camera IconWoolworths Waikiki employee Shelly Cassidy and local Share the Dignity coordinator Katrina Muirhead. Credit: Picture: Chloe Fraser

Local Share the Dignity coordinator Katrina Muirhead is calling on the public to help make a difference to women experiencing homeless and poverty.

The Share the Dignity initiative seeks to provide the basic essentials for women and girls in crisis by collecting donations of sanitary items and personal hygiene products to distribute to women in need.

Founder Rochelle Courtenay said the organisation, through its drive held in March and August, helped to alleviate the undignified situations thousands of women across the country endured.

“So many women every month have to forfeit sanitary products because they cannot afford them,” she said.

“Many mothers have to choose between buying tampons and feeding their children.

“Girls miss out on school simply because families cannot afford to buy the basic necessities.”

Ms Courtenay said the need for additional support from charities was growing because of COVID-19.

The March Dignity Drive was cut short due to the pandemic, resulting in charities receiving only half of the donations they requested.

The impact of the pandemic has also increased the number of charity requests being made, with Dignity receiving 700 more requests for sanitary items than it received in March.

In WA 20,000 items have been requested for distribution across 144 charities. More than 870 of those items have been requested for distribution across the Rockingham area. Donations to the August Drive can be dropped at collection points at Woolworths stores across WA.

The charity also fund Dignity vending machines, which are installed at various locations in the community and dispense free sanitary items to women facing difficult circumstances.

Recently a PinkboxVending Machine was installed in a toilet block at Gilmore College. The automatic machine dispenses sanitary items for free every 10 minutes and is stocked through donations from the public.

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