Narellan Vale charity drive underway to support Share the Dignity

CHARITY: Narellan Vale's Elisabeth Crossley is collecting handbags full of essential items to donate to homeless women in the lead-up to Christmas. Picture: Joshua Bartlett
CHARITY: Narellan Vale's Elisabeth Crossley is collecting handbags full of essential items to donate to homeless women in the lead-up to Christmas. Picture: Joshua Bartlett

Narellan Vale’s Elisabeth Crossley has set an ambitious target to provide a boost for homeless woman in the lead-up to Christmas.

Ms Crossley aims to fill 100 handbags with essential everyday items by the end of October in support of the Share the Dignity campaign.

Share the Dignity is a not-for-profit organisation that gives sanitary items to homeless women and fights on behalf of domestic violence victims.

Ms Crossley has spent the past few months gathering pre-loved handbags and receiving donations from the Macarthur community.

She then packs the items up in handbags at her home.

The 22-year-old said donated items included toothpaste and toothbrushes.

Ms Crossley said people could also donate soap, shampoo, tampons, baby wipes, stationary items and more.

“The handbags are being filled with things that we take for granted everyday,” she said.

“My aim is to fill up 100 handbags and there will be 10 to 15 items in each bag.”

Ms Crossley said she had received great support from Macarthur businesses and community groups.

"The handbags will go towards the Share the Dignity drive at the end of the November and they will be distributed throughout the Sydney region,” she said.

“The Share the Dignity campaign is not about throwing money at the issue and hoping to fix it.

“It is a fun and practical initiative.”

The handbags are being filled with things that we take for granted everyday.

Elisabeth Crossley

Ms Crossley is studying a Bachelor of Social Work at the Western Sydney University and said homelessness was a big issue, including in Macarthur.

“There are a lot of homeless people living here in Camden and Campbelltown,” she said.

“But people don’t seem to think it’s a problem anymore though.

"I'm really passionate about helping the homeless and having a focus on helping their needs.”

Ms Crossley became interested in Share the Dignity after finding the charity on Facebook a couple of years ago.

She decided to start her own donation drive in 2017 and filled up 30 bags worth of sanitary items.

This year, Ms Crossley aims to reach her 100-handbag target ahead of a Share the Dignity promotional event at Narellan Anglican Church on November 3 at 2pm.

“We are holding the event to make people aware of the homeless issue,” she said.

“People can bring items to donate too, I can fill up extra bags to send to Share the Dignity.”

To donate an item, call Elisabeth Crossley on 0437 462 346.