Community help needed for charity handbag drive

PILE ON: Bunnings Mount Gambier operations manager Di Eddy and Share The Dignity Mount Gambier coordinator Danielle Leckie at one of two collection points in the city for the It's In The Bag initiative.

HANDBAGS full of hygiene essentials and luxury items for women in need are starting to pile up at two Mount Gambier collection points – and it is not too late to donate yours.

The Share The Dignity It’s In The Bag project supports women experiencing issues of poverty, homelessness or domestic violence but this year’s collection period has been significantly impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, leading to shorter donation window.

Despite the reduced timeframe, Bunnings Mount Gambier and Bare Necessities Lingerie will continue collecting donated handbags until Sunday when the campaign ends.

The bags can be filled with essential daily items for women including roll on deodorant, dental care products, shampoo, soap and sealed packets of pads or tampons, as well as luxury items such as make up, new socks or magazines.

Donated bags can also be aimed towards teenage girls or ‘mums and bubs’, while people can also donate towards a bag online if they are unable to assemble their own.

Share The Dignity Mount Gambier coordinator Danielle Leckie encouraged community members to piece together their own handbag, which will remain in the Limestone Coast and be distributed across the region by Foodbank Mount Gambier.

“They are certainly gratefully received by women that may not have those sorts of items and not get a treat at Christmas,” Ms Leckie said.

“You can also put in extra treats so it might be a nice note of encouragement for that person for whatever they’re going through, or some make up – anything you feel might make that person feel good is certainly greatly appreciated.”

Bunnings Mount Gambier operations manager Di Eddy said the company was proud to partner with Share The Dignity, adding the annual handbag collection was strongly supported across the nation.

In 2019, Share The Dignity collected over 134,000 bags nationally, building on their 519,000-plus total since the campaign launched in 2016.

The charity also holds a bi-annual Dignity Drives to collect period and incontinence products.

Visit for more information, including a guide on how to assemble a handbag for donation.