Port Stephens businesses supporting nationwide Share the Dignity Drive Port Stephens by News Of The Area - Modern Media - August 23, 2022 BUSINESSES across Port Stephens are pitching in to assist women and girls experiencing domestic violence, poverty or homelessness by helping to collect personal hygiene products as part of the bi-annual Share the Dignity Drive. On any given night, over 45,000 Australian women are homeless and sadly this number is constantly rising. One of the biggest issues faced by these displaced women, is the fact that they don’t have access to safe, hygienic sanitary products. Share the Dignity also provides free sanitary products in their Pink Box vending machines at Tomaree and Raymond Terrace libraries for our area. Share the Dignity is a charity organisation founded by Rochelle Courtenay that seeks to provide the basic essentials for women and girls in crisis by sending the call out for unopened packets of pads, tampons and personal hygiene products to distribute to women nationwide. Ms Courtenay said the drive helps in some small way to alleviate the undignified situation thousands of women have to endure – forced to make a choice between buying food or buying feminine hygiene products. “So many women, every month, have to forfeit sanitary products because they cannot afford them. Many mothers have to choose between buying tampons and feeding their children. Girls miss out on school simply because their families cannot afford to buy the basic necessities,” she said. “When you donate sanitary products to Share the Dignity, you’re donating much more than pads and tampons. “You’re giving a woman experiencing homelessness or financial crisis the essentials, so she doesn’t need to choose between food and dignity. “Next time you’re doing your shopping, keep in mind: one box for me, one box for her.” Managers said the teams at Woolworths, McDowell Homes, Port Stephens Recycling Centre, Chalk and Willow, Nelson Bay Red Cross, Curtis & Blair Real Estate, Medowie, The Bar Health and Fitness, Medowie, and Goodstart Early Learning Anna Bay understand how important it is that everyone in our community knows that access to sanitary items should be a right not a privilege. Each business has a pink box and are collecting for the whole month of August. Please donate generously. “Share the Dignity is about helping people who are in real need. “Homelessness, poverty and family violence are big challenges for our/most community and people can make a real difference close to home with small acts of kindness. “We are delighted to support this campaign by providing our business as collection points for donated pads, tampons and personal hygiene products.” The biannual collection drive is on during all of March and August, with distribution to registered local Port Stephens charities taking place in April and September. Visit www.Sharethedignity.com.au for further information.