An organisation that aims to restore dignity into the lives of women who cannot afford sanitary products is calling on the Port Stephens community to help it in its endeavour.
Share the Dignity is running a drive throughout August, and is asking the Port community to donate sanitary items such as pads, tampons and menstrual cups to it.
Trudy Bell from Medowie joined Share the Dignity this year and became a ‘Shero’ (the organisation’s term for a female hero), a role that helps to coordinate drives in their area.
“I liked Share the Dignity on Facebook and was reading about what they do,” Ms Bell said.
“I couldn’t believe that some women had to choose between eating or buying sanitary items. I volunteered to help.”
Share the Dignity was founded in 2015 by Rochelle Courtenay after she discovered that thousands of Australian women cannot access sanitary products when they need them.
“Access to sanitary items has been declared a human right by the United Nations yet we know that in Australia there are thousands of women and girls who don’t have access to pads, tampons, menstrual cups or period-proof underwear,” Ms Courtenay said.
“It’s traumatic, embarrassing and undignified. And in modern day Australia, unacceptable.”
Ms Courtenay held her first sanitary product drive in March 2015 in Brisbane.
Since then Share the Dignity has grown into a national charity which has collected more than 650,000 packets of pads and tampons.
Every item collected is registered, sorted and sent to services that directly support women and girls in need.
Chemmart pharmacies at Nelson Bay, Raymond Terrace and Tanilba Bay will be collection points for sanitary item donations throughout August.
White lady Funerals, Joblink Plus and Hearing Australia are also donation points.
For those unable to make a collection point, donations can be made online through sharethedignity.com.au.
Cottons, a company that manufactures pads and tampons, is a major sponsor of the drive this year.
It has pledged to match donations. Those who buy Cottons products to donate to the drive are asked to take a picture of their purchase, upload it to Facebook or Instagram, tag Cottons or use the hashtag #cottonsdignitydrive.