Moree residents are being encouraged to collect their unused toiletries or purchase them during their weekly shop this festive season for the annual Donate for Dignity Christmas drive.
The local charity is aiming to drop more than 100 packs of toiletries to various local charities including Byamee, the women’s refuge, and Moree Hospital.
Donate for Dignity has also distributed about 100 packs to Moree Hospital throughout the year, while individuals have been discreetly handing them out to members of the community who need a helping hand.
The team has begun packing items for their Christmas drop and while they have plenty of feminine hygiene products, toothpaste and toothbrushes, they still welcome donations of deodorant, shampoo and conditioner, soap and body wash.
“At Christmas time, people buy presents and go above and beyond for loved ones, they try to support the local economy and buy local. But it’s also a time to give back to causes like Donate for Dignity,” Donate for Dignity founder Jessica Duncan said.
“If you’re travelling, grab those toiletry items you’d normally leave behind in your hotel room.
“If you’re doing your shopping, grab that deodorant or body wash that’s on sale. It’s as simple as that.
“It’s just easy, another afterthought. We’re not asking people to go out of their way.”
Ms Duncan said Christmas is a particularly difficult time for people who are doing it tough, and often things like personal hygiene are sacrificed so food can be put on the table.
She said something as simple as giving people a little dignity can make a huge difference, particularly for their mental health.
“Christmas is a time when, if you’re living below the poverty line, people feel it more,” Ms Duncan said.
“It’s a time we see a lot more mental health issues come to the surface. These packs can make a difference.
“It’s a little something to say the Moree community is thinking about you.”
This is the third year Donate for Dignity has been running and Ms Duncan said the community have continued to support the cause.
“This year we’ve had a really good steady stream of people that have brought stuff in,” she said.
“The Moree community has really taken us into their hearts and has been really supportive throughout the year.
“We’re really appreciative of that. It has allowed us to do continual drops to the hospital throughout the year.”
Janelle Boyd, who often hands out packs to families she knows are having a hard time, said the packs are “life-changing”.
“Without this charity, so many families would have to go without,” she said.
“I’ve delivered at least 50 packs to families in need; it makes a huge difference.”
“It’s unbelievable that the consequences are that far-reaching,” Ms Duncan added.
“It’s amazing to think that it’s making a difference.”
If any other organisations feel their clients would benefit from the packs and would like to receive some to distribute this Christmas, contact Jessica Duncan at the Aboriginal Employment Strategy on 6752 3422.
If you would like to donate toiletries, drop them off at the Aboriginal Employment Strategy, at 207 Balo Street, Moree.