Eldercare Chief Executive Jane Pickering said staff are donating handbags filled with a range of essential items and everyday luxuries which will be given to women and girls around Australia.
“Approximately 20 handbags have already been donated by staff at Head Office and residents and staff at other Eldercare residential care facilities are filling handbags for donation,” said Ms Pickering.
“Head Office staff have participated in the donation drive for the last two years and it is great to see support for ‘It’s In The Bag’ growing across the organisation.
“This initiative aligns with Eldercare’s core values of respect, accountability and connection – and the commitment our employees’ and residents’ are showing for ‘It’s In The Bag’ demonstrates how we live these values in real and practical ways.”
Many of the women who will receive a handbag this Christmas have experienced extreme hardship or have fled domestic violence situations.
“As a White Ribbon accredited workplace, Eldercare is committed to ending violence against women and we are proud put to our support behind this annual community Christmas appeal to help women and girls who are experiencing homelessness and poverty,” said Ms Pickering.
Eldercare Manual Handling Trainer Jane Huckel, who introduced the Christmas appeal to Eldercare, first heard of Share the Dignity four years ago when she was invited to a high tea where ‘It’s in the Bag’ was launched.
“During the event, several women shared their stories and, even though they had different experiences, they all had no option but to live on the streets and it was so inspiring to see how they were trying very hard to get their lives back,” said Ms Huckel.
“That year, some friends and I supported the campaign and I introduced it to Eldercare in 2015 because I thought my colleagues would also appreciate the opportunity to give.”
Ms Huckel said a small team at Eldercare’s Head Office promoted the initiative and staff responded in a ‘big way’.
“Whilst many Christmas appeals collect and distribute food, drink and clothing, donating personal care products, especially female hygiene items, is just as important as it will protect the health and dignity of the women who receive them,” said Ms Huckel.
Share the Dignity is a charity which aims to ensure that women are afforded the dignity so many of us take for granted’.
The charity has collected and subsequently donated more than one million packs of personal care items to Australian women and girls.
Visit the Share the Dignity website for further information about the ‘It’s in the Bag’ Christmas collection as well as their year-round initiatives.
Update: Eldercare has donated a total of 276 bags to Share the Dignity.
Image: Eldercare Chief Executive Jane Pickering and Manual Handling Trainer Jane Huckel with the bags donated by Eldercare Head Office staff in 2016.