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Dignity in donating to those in need

Emma Pritchard


Driven by their determination to help homeless, vulnerable and at-risk women in a crisis situation access personal and sanitary products, charity group Share the Dignity are reaching out to the Clarence Valley community and encouraging them to donate to the biannual Dignity Drive.

In March and August each year, Dignity Drives establish collection points for members of the public to donate basic personal hygiene products which are collected and delivered to local organisations including the New School of Arts Neighbourhood Centre and Momentum Collective, who distribute the donations to women and young girls in need.

Local woman Carol Starkey has been involved with Share the Dignity for several years and is always on the lookout for new businesses who are willing to offer their venues as collection points.

She said it is important all women have access to basic hygiene products, and she is encouraging locals to give generously.

“While a lot of people may think women in unfortunate situations may not have jobs or permanent accommodation, we don’t often think about what they do when its that time of the month and how they manage,” she said.

“The aim of the Dignity Drives are to help make those necessary sanitary items accessible to them.

“The community is going through a hard time because of Covid-19 and that’s really affected everyone, but there’s always something we can do to help those in need.”

More than 160000 sanitary products were donated during the Dignity Drive in March this year, and Ms Starkey is encouraging Clarence Valley residents to help support the event for the second time this year.

Local businesses in Grafton including Newcastle Permanent and Woolworths in Grafton Shoppingworld, Chemist Warehouse and The Friendlies Discount Pharmacy in Prince St, Clarence Regional Library and Southside Pharmacy in South Grafton have generously offered themselves as collection points with pink and white donation boxes established on site.

Maclean residents can donate items for the Dignity Drive at Stanford’s Pharmacy and Maclean Discount Pharmacy.

Ms Starkey also wished to acknowledge Woolworths for their long-standing support of the Dignity Drives and also the Clarence Regional Library who have recently installed a pink vending machine which allows women to access sanitary products free of charge.

The Dignity Drive will run until September 1.