Essentials for Women is a campaign that aims to generate donations of underwear, sanitary products and other essential toiletry items to enhance the wellbeing and dignity for women in crisis or in need in our community.
EFW was founded in October 2014 and is the first campaign to be run in Australia specifically for sanitary items and supporting women with essentials items that we take for granted every day.
It all started on October 15, 2014 when our founder, Lenny Jacoby, had a quick conversation with a friend, which inspired her to send the following message to a group of friends on Facebook.
“Some of you may read this and think it’s not for you. I suggest that you make it all the way through before you make a decision.
I was talking to a friend this morning about donations at the homeless centre she works at and she mentioned that what they really lack is sanitary products and underwear for homeless women. I don’t know about you but I’d never thought of these supplies! I was talking about donating a few jackets or something. She mentioned that they get lots of “granny” undies, which isn’t great. Not many young women like to wear them but they will if that’s all that can be offered to them. My friend said that if I know of someone who might be able to donate some female products that would be great.
I walked home a little deflated thinking I didn’t really know one person who could help out. But then I had a light bulb moment! I may not know ONE person but I know SEVERAL people and maybe if we band together we could get something happening. So my idea is a bit crazy but I think some of you are crazy enough to take it on.
My idea is that if each of us buys one packet of sanitary goods and a pair of undies (think about what you like to wear) next time we go shopping. That way by the end of November, we’d have a good bunch to donate right before Christmas time.”
This message was whole heartedly embraced by the people of Perth with the event going viral with over 95,000 people invited to participate and soon Essentials for Women was born. To date, EFW has raised over 110,000 items for local women in need.