As part of the UNITE leadership program my team of big-hearted and talented individuals have been working on organising a homelessness awareness campaign at the University of South Australia campuses during August and September 2016. We’ve been working with two organisations that work tirelessly to assist people in need: the St Vincent de Paul Society and Share the Dignity. Read more about our work below.
Share the Dignity sanitary items collection drive
Share the Dignity is a not-for-profit organisation that collects and distributes sanitary items for women in need. From 19 August to 30 September the USASA counters at each of the four University of South Australia metro campuses (Magill, Mawson Lakes, City East and City West) will be designated collection points. Donations will be counted weekly at each campus and posted online to promote healthy competition among campuses to see who can donate the most. These products will be taken to Share the Dignity where they will be packed up and distributed to homeless women and other women in need of these items.
Adelaide fashion designer and UNITE participant Belinda Zanello will be making a dress out of pads and tampons to turn heads and raise awareness of one of the issues that homeless women have to face regularly. Thank you to TSUNO for providing the materials to make the dress. The final product will be revealed at the International Women’s Development Agency #SheSpeaks panel discussion on Friday 30 September to conclude the collection campaign.
An exciting addition to this campaign will be the use of a hashtag #bloodyhell to raise further awareness on social media. Anyone can get involved – let’s end the stigma associated with periods and start a discussion on how to make things easier for homeless women during “that time of the month”.
Community sleepout for Vinnies
On 19 August a number of students from the University of South Australia will be sleeping outside at the City West campus to raise awareness of homelessness. Leading up to this we will be collecting donations for the St Vincent de Paul Society (SA) online and through pop-up food stalls throughout August. On the night the team will be organising a number of activities, stalls and guest speakers, some of whom have personally experienced what it’s like to be homeless. All donations will go to Vinnies to be used to provide supplies to those who are homeless in South Australia.