Leanne Pitt-Barile had never thought about how a woman living below the poverty line managed her period. That was until she started volunteering with Share the Dignity four years ago.
“I had never really considered how a homeless woman dealt with their period,” she said.
“Until someone brings it up you don’t think about it and it’s something a lot of women face.
“Some women have to make a choice each month as to whether they can afford to buy this basic sanitary item.”
In 2017, after volunteering for a year, Ms Pitt-Barile became the NSW State Leader at Share the Dignity and has been working tirelessly with volunteers across the state ever since.
In its fifth year, this month marks their biannual Dignity Drive, a campaign that aims to collect donations of period products to assist the fight to end period poverty across the country.
Ms Pitt-Barile said what they collected was vital for many women across the state.
“We have charities asking for 37,000 packets of sanitary items this month alone to give to the women they help,” she said.
“The heart of what we do is provide sanitary items to women and girls in need who cannot access them.”
Since its inception, the charity has donated more than two million period products to women in need and, last year, the charity collected over one million through their Dignity Drive.
Ms Pitt-Barile encouraged everyone to help, whether it’s through a donation or becoming a volunteer.
“If you can afford to help out, even if it’s one packet of pads, why wouldn’t you do it,” she said.
“Buy one for yourself and one for her – a woman in need.”
If you would like to donate to the Dignity Drive, there are several collection points across the Hunter. These drop off points include Woolworths stores and the offices of Sonia Hornery, Tim Crakanthorp and Jenny Aitchison.
Ms Pitt-Barile adds that the group are constantly recruiting volunteers because there is a lot of work behind the scenes.
Go to sharethedignity.org.au to find your nearest collection point, become a volunteer or to give a monetary donation.