Share the Dignity launches its #ItsInTheBag appeal

Donate: the donation box at Bunnings Traralgon. photograph supplied

Alyssa Fritzlaff

Share the Dignity Gippsland is calling on people to take part in its annual Christmas appeal #ItsInTheBag.

The campaign is running from Friday November 19 to Sunday November 28, and is partnering with Bunnings Stores Australia.

Share the Dignity aims to ensure women and girls in domestic violence shelters over Christmas receive the basic essentials.

The organisation’s #ItsInTheBag Christmas appeal encourages people to donate a bag containing essentials such as pads and tampons, deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner and soap. Small luxuries such as hair accessories or a handwritten note may also be included.

The bag may be a new or good condition handbag, duffle bag or backpack.
Once filled, the bags can be taken to local Bunnings stores for donation.

Three different types of bags are available for donation, an Adult bag, Teen bag or a Mum and Bub bag.

Local Gippsland representative for the organisation Rhonda Chapman said Gippsland is looking for more volunteers during this time, specifically in the Latrobe Valley, Warragul and Wonthaggi areas.

Ms Chapman has been involved with Share the Dignity for three years.

“I got involved with Share the Dignity through a friend from Traralgon Lions Club.”

“I then volunteered with the It’s in the Bag last year with Traralgon as my home store and once again helped to coordinate across the Valley and East Gippsland.”

This year Ms Chapman has helped coordinate communications between Bunnings store in Gippsland. She reports that between Morwell and Traralgon Bunnings stores, almost 350 bags were collected.

Volunteers collect the bags daily and perform checks on donations before they are handed over to local charities at the start of December.

Share the Dignity Founder and Managing Director Rochelle Courtenay said the charity is preparing for a donation deficit this year in the wake of the pandemic.

“We saw the impact of COVID-19 last year – nationally, we received 50,000 fewer bags in 2020, compared to 2019. This just shows the strain on those who might not be able to donate at this time, but the need is still there – in fact, we are seeing more vulnerable women and girls looking for support than ever before,” Ms Courtenay said.

Research from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Centre for Justice found that more than 60 per cent of domestic and family violence service providers across Australia reported an increase in the number of people seeking help in the early stages of the pandemic.

Anyone interested in volunteering locally is invited to call Ms Chapman on: 0411 163 719, or register online at,