Meeting our community’s increasing needs, Share the Dignity powers full steam ahead toward fulfilling their goal of spreading love this Christmas.
#ItsInTheBag, the initiative’s annual Christmas time appeal, encourages locals to donate a bag of goodies at the closest Bunnings store between Friday 19 November and Sunday 28 November 2021. The aim—to ensure woman and young girls spending this special holiday in domestic violence shelters receive life’s bare necessities. This may include toiletry needs, deodorant, toothbrushes and toothpaste, bathing items, as well as little luxuries like handwritten notes and knick-knacks. For many women and girls in tough situations, this is the only gift they will receive this Christmas.
Madelyn (8-years-old from Ferny Hills) and her mother Amy-Louise are ‘Shero’s’ for Share The Dignity. They have collected and sorted well over 200 bags and 100’s of individual sanitary packets in the last three years, and have been building their stash at home to donate and can quite easily bury Madelyn completely at this stage! After Madelyn’s father’s job became redundant whilst her mother was on maternity leave, Madelyn’s family struggled, both mentally and financially. Until their mindset was forever changed by the kindness of a stranger.
As described by Madelyn’s mother, ‘We started collecting after we were able to get a food parcel from Nexus on Flockton Street. A volunteer chased me to my car and handed me an old handbag. I was shocked, but would never want to appear rude and accepted it, thinking it was empty and a gift because I must have looked that miserable with a newborn and little girl lined up at a food bank. I didn’t look at it until I got home, and to my surprise it was filled with the most beautiful things, for me. Little things you just go without when you’re struggling. I always made sure the kids had what they needed and then my husband but never myself. It was just so incredible another lady had done that for a total stranger. It was like she had totally understood what I had needed in that moment.’
It is always important to give back when we can. As Madelyn’s mum says, when you have more than you need, build a longer table—not a higher fence. That was the mindset Madelyn’s family adopted that day, and that is the mindset she is growing up to practice herself. Madelyn loves being a part of it all. She writes in the cards we put in each bag and chooses special items to gift. She is also a very handy size to climb in the big boxes at Bunnings to pass bags out! Furthermore, Madelyn, has gone onto raise over $20,000 for different charities in the last couple of years with no plans on stopping!
Give to the community, and the community will give back to you.