By Afiqah Sulaiman
A club on Murdoch University’s South Street campus, is running a donation drive for homeless women in Perth.
The collection drive by the The Young Soroptimists of Murdoch, is part of an initiative by Essentials for Women – a non-profit organisation that encourages people to donate much-needed items for homeless women.
These items include new and unopened sanitary pads, tampons, soap, shampoo, conditioner, underwear and more.
Amy Rust, co-founder and chairman of Essentials 4 Women SA, says she often noticed a shortage in sanitary products being donated to shelters.
“Not only are they an essential part of a woman’s life at one point or another, they’re [very] expensive,” Rust says.
“It’s so important because it is not a service that is filled any other way – completely and utterly falls through the gaps of most people’s minds when it comes to donating to charity.”
Éilis McCarthy, 20, a law student and founder of The Young Soroptimists of Murdoch says her experience working with homeless women at a local legal centre pushed her to support this initiative.
“A lot of our clients are homeless women and are very poor.
“Many of them are escaping very serious situations – notably domestic violence – they have children and no family support,” McCarthy says.
“Because I’ve seen that first-hand and dealt with mothers without that support, I felt it was very important to contribute, otherwise, they wouldn’t get these very essential items.”
The club is a project of Soroptimist International Rockingham and focuses on empowering, educating and enabling opportunities for women and girls.
If you are interested in donating, there are two collection boxes set up on the Murdoch University campus – at the Guild Reception in the Student Hub and at the Guild Kiosk.
Club members will be regularly collecting items from the boxes until November, after the university’s exam period.
After that any donations will be sent to Essentials for Women and boxed up for organisations across Perth and the South West of WA.
To find out where you can donate items outside of the university, visit the Essentials for Women’s website here.