ESSENTIALS FOR WOMEN
Thanks to your generosity we have been able to provide over 146,000 items to women in need in Perth & South West WA.
By making a one-off or recurring donation to Essentials for Women you will allow us to grow and support more women in need in Perth and expand into regional WA.
Empowering Women in Need
Our October campaign has finished for another year.
If you still have donations that you need to get to us, please take them here:
SEADRAGONZ SWIM SCHOOL
44 Allen Rd, Forrestdale
Mon - Sat
9am - 5pm
434 Albany Hwy, Victoria Park
Mon - Fri
9am - 5pm
Empower us to empower women
Essentials for Women aims to generate donations of new underwear, sanitary items and essential toiletries for women in need in our local community.
Donations of goods ensure that organisations that we partner with received the donations that they need to support women who access their services.
Donations of money help us to thrive in Perth and develop our services in regional areas in WA.
Monetary donations over $2 are tax deductible.
A few years ago if you asked me about homelessness I would’ve immediately thought of people sleeping rough, of people in the city asking for money, and if I’m honest, I would’ve been slightly judgemental about these people.
In October 2014 after talking to a friend I discovered a unique issue, being a woman and being homeless meant that sometimes you had to go without essential items like tampons, pads and basic toiletries.
Most women will be able to tell you of a time that they have had their period catch them by surprise. The awkwardness that follows while you dig deep into a handbag and hope to find a tampon. The walk of shame with a bit of toilet paper wadded in your undies, praying that you don’t leak while making a beeline to the “personal hygiene” section in your local supermarket.
Imagine doing that every month.
Imagine not knowing how you were going to deal with your period.
Imagine having one pair of undies to last you until you can afford another pair.
Imagine having no dignity every month.
This is the reality for homeless women.
I’m not only talking about the women sleeping rough. I’m talking about the women we don’t see as well. Women make up 45% of homelessness. People tell me all the time that the numbers are wrong, that there are no homeless women in Perth. There are. Just take a minute to look at the women’s refuges, the women who couch surf between friends and family, the women who sleep in their cars as well as the women who are sleeping rough. Just because you cant see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there.
So I started a charity called Essentials for Women. We were the first campaign in Australia to ask for essential items. We aim to generate donations of new underwear, sanitary items and basic toiletries for women in need. Since starting this charity, I’ve learnt a lot about homeless women. Many leave domestic violence situations after years of abuse. They land hard with literally the clothes on their backs. I no longer judge them. I admire them. They are strong and capable women.
If you can’t afford to support a charity, a donation drive or a few coins when someone asks, remember that a smile and a conversation is free. Often these are the most sought out things. A small connection with another person, free from judgement and to be acknowledged.
At Essentials for Women, we pride ourselves in reaching beyond the inner city borders of Perth and impacting regional areas. Our campaign for goods runs annually in October.
DEB, EFW VOLUNTEER
Volunteering is an easy way to help in my own city.
Essentials for Women are an inspiration, they have shown that from little things big things grow.
I am happy that there are angels like you still in the world.
As I stroll to the shops I notice a woman sitting on the ground, a hand written sign "homeless". She looks amazing and honestly Im a little skeptical. I ask her if she needs anything from the shops, some food, any toiletries. She declines everything which doesn't help my cynicism.
"Wait! A hair brush!"
I look back, nod and walk into the shops. A few minutes later I return with a hairbrush. I squat down next to her and hand it over. You can see the tears in her eyes. I sit down for a chat with her.
It turns out that she had her makeup and hairbrush stolen that week. She wasn't sure who stole it but she woke up one morning and her bag was gone. I told her I was skeptical at first and she got a little defensive.
"What is a homeless person meant to look like? A bag lady like the movies?"
A short chat turned into a long one. It turns out that the days that she does her hair and wears make up, people are nicer to her. People offer her food, some money, a place to sleep. She feels good about herself.
That day costs me $4 but bought me so much. I got a serious lesson in what it is like to be homeless, to be judged and a reminder of how a little bit can go a long way.