Did you know that 44% of Australian homeless are women? That’s approximately 46,305 women who at this point in time have nowhere permanent to call home. These women are often the victims of domestic violence and suffer with the emotional and physical wounds of a hard-won existence, as well as the stigma of being without a home.

This also means that there are currently 46,305 women without access to the basics like soap, shampoo, pads & tampons. Consider 46,305 women using newspaper in their underwear once a month, without the financial ability to purchase sanitary products or deodorant let alone sunscreen and a hair brush.

However, I don’t want to make you sad with statistics and horror stories (there’s plenty of both in the US Election coverage). Instead, I want to call you to action. To show you that YOU CAN make a difference to a woman’s life. A real, tangible difference this Christmas season. Restoring dignity, confidence and hope to homeless women – #itsinthebag.

Women in Strata have joined the Share the Dignity team to make their #itsinthebag campaign a huge success in 2016. The concept is simple. Fill a handbag with items that will make a woman in need feel special. With basics like soap, shampoo & conditioner, deodorant, pads & tampons, sunscreen, hair brush, undies, socks, toothbrush and toothpaste etc. And with the nice things we take for granted – hand cream, perfume, a heat pack, movie tickets, a book – that’s what’s so wonderful about #itsinthebag – your gift is entirely unique to you and in turn, incredibly special to the woman who receives it. There are a few items that for health and safety reasons cannot be included. You can find more information here.

Women in Strata will collect the bags and at our Christmas Party on 24 November 2016 and we will present the gifts to a representative from Share the Dignity – who in turn will ensure each bag is gifted to a woman who needs it.

We’ll be encouraging all our wonderful guests who attend our Christmas party to bring a bag (and in turn be in the draw to win a beautiful gift from She Lion). But I think we can do a little better. Imagine if, together, as a sector, we were able to provide ONE HUNDRED bags to Share the Dignity? That’s 100 women in need who get to feel special, important and noticed simply by being gifted the little things we all need.

From now until 24 November 2016 I will happily collect and store the bags for presentation to Share the Dignity. I’m also available to answer questions, provide ideas for what to put in the bags and if it helps you get involved, provide silly snap chat thank you messages, voice change filter of your choice. Our Christmas Party is officially endorsed and registered with Share the Dignity, which means we can provide charity status letters to anyone who wants one (making your gift potentially tax deductible).

Only a few spots remain for our Christmas party and you can register to attend here. Remember, even if you can’t make it on the night, contact me on natalie.fitzgerald@stratasense.com.au and I will make sure your bag is presented to Share the Dignity.

100 bags for #itsinthebag? Ambitious? Of course! But I believe we’ve got this. With your support, it’s in the bag.

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