MEDIA RELEASE - Girl Guides launch 'It's In The Bag' Campaign

Girl guides from the East Maitland district have launched Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison’s 2019 ‘It’s in the Bag’ drive with a mass donation of backpacks filled with sanitary, beauty and hygiene products – plus a note sending love.

The ‘It’s in the Bag’ campaign is an initiative that encourages people to make life better for women or girls experiencing homelessness or poverty this Christmas. he campaign will run until Saturday, December 7, 2019. Ms Aitchison’s office at 2/12 Elgin Street, Maitland, will again act as a donation collection centre.

Girl Guides leaders Chris McCarthy and Megan O’Brien brought Abbey Maletto, Isabella Radford, Emma Sharman and Helena Sharman, and 29 loaded backpacks, to the office of Jenny Aitchison on the afternoon of Tuesday, 27 November.

Each backpack contained shampoo, conditioner, a toothbrush and case, soap in a case, toothpaste, a hairbrush, a hair tie, tissues and women’s sanitary items.

Ms Aitchison praised the community spirit of the East Maitland Girl guides.

“These girls have fund-raised to purchase the bags and toiletries. They’ve carefully packed each backpack, putting anything that could spill into a Ziploc bag. And they’ve added a beautiful little note to each bag, wishing the recipient love at Christmas,” Ms Aitchison said.

People supporting the initiative donate an old, good-quality handbag they have at home filled with products that women need and enjoy. These are gifted to women in need at Christmas.

Ms Aitchison said that in previous years she had been overwhelmed by the generosity of Maitland residents, with the donation of dozens of bags filled with comforting and useful items.

“For women fleeing violence, sanitary products often become luxuries,” Ms Aitchison said. “The ‘It’s in the Bag’ campaign provides sanitary products to homeless shelters and domestic violence refuges for women in need. Sadly, the need usually rises over the Christmas period.”

Reports suggest that increased alcohol abuse, financial stress and strained family dynamics over the Christmas period contribute to a surge in domestic violence rates.

“I encourage anyone who has an old handbag at home that they no longer need to fill it with new and unopened sanitary items, hygiene products and thoughtful items that a women in need would love to receive.”

For more information on the campaign and to access a list of recommend products to include in each handbag please visit

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