Essentials for Women of Perth

Essentials for Women of Perth

Written by Tania Giorgetta

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That time of the month- Perth unites to help homeless women.


It happens regularly to all women and is something most of us take in our stride. Once a month we buy whatever we need for our personal hygiene and deal with those 3 – 7 days as we go about our lives.  But imagine if you were on the streets. Imagine if you barely had enough money for food, water and medicine.  Imagine if you relied on the kindness of strangers and drop in facilities and refuges throughout the city.  This is the case for many homeless women across Perth and WA. It is a sobering thought to know that there are ladies out there who don’t have sanitary products each month.

This was the thinking that started the “Essentials for Women of Perth” campaign. The initiative was conceptualised by Victoria Park woman, Lenny Jacoby, who was talking to a friend one day who works for Ruah: a not for profit community organisation which provides services in housing and homelessness, dealing with issues such as mental health, domestic violence and women leaving prison.  The friend mentioned that while they get donations of clothing they really needed some sanitary products and new underwear for women.  ‘It is a bit of a taboo subject’ the friend said and perhaps something people don’t think about donating.   Lenny was surprised and horrified at the thought of women not having sanitary products when needed   “I walked home a little deflated thinking I didn’t really know one person who could help out. “ she says, “But then I had a light bulb moment! I may not know ONE person but I know SEVERAL people and maybe if we band together we could get something happening.” So Lenny decided to email some of her friends and ask for donations. This is an excerpt from the initial email she sent out:

 “My idea is that if each of us buy one packet of sanitary products and a pair of undies (think about what you like to wear) next time we go shopping, that way by the end of November, we’d have a good bunch to donate right before Christmas time.

I’ll organise a collection of goods from north and south of the river towards the end of November.
Please feel free to add others to this conversation and let’s get these women some necessary items for Christmas! 

Lenny Jacoby
Lenny Jacoby-  photo by Paul Wright

Shortly after, on the 18th of October, Lenny’s sister encouraged her to create a Facebook event to maximise possible reach.  “I thought I may be able to inspire about 100 people to donate undies and sanitary products,” Lenny said.   She went on to invite approximately 60 of her friends to take part in the campaign. What happened next nobody expected, the whole thing went viral.   The event exploded with over 67,000 people being invited to the page in the first 48 hours.   More than 12,000 people have accepted the invitation and it is increasing all the time.

The “event” has a date of the 30th of November as that is the end date for the campaign.   The idea is that if people want to donate items they can do so up until that date;  there are several drop off places around the city. (they are listed at the bottom of this article)

The campaign is expanding and is now taking off in country towns throughout WA with other ‘Essentials for Women’ facebook groups appearing on social media. There are “events” in the wheatbelt, the southwest, Albany, Esperance and recently the concept is also taking off in other cities and towns in other states of Australia. While the campaign started off as being about donations of sanitary products such as tampons, pads, panty liners and new ladies knickers, it has now extended to donations of other toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner, soap, razors, underwear for men and children, deodorant, wipes, toothpaste, toothbrushes, socks and children’s pyjamas.

So far, donations have reached into the hundreds for items of underwear, sanitary products and some toiletries but there can never be too much donated as they are all consumable items so everything will be used.

Various collection points have been nominated around the city and some business owners have kindly volunteered their premises as drop off spots. Companies such as Kotex have also participated and generously donated 100 boxes of 12 packets of panty liners.

The Ruah Centre will be distributing the products to the homeless and the less fortunate and to people in women’s refuges.

Lenny, staff and volunteers at Ruah
Lenny, staff and clients at Ruah

The cut-off date for the campaign is the 30th of November, up to this date all the drop off places will be available. After that date donations can still be made but they need to go to Ruah directly.

This campaign shows the power of social media and the generosity of the people of Perth. The campaign has been inundated with donations which will all go to help ladies doing it tough.
If you feel like you can help out with a donation please deliver goods to the collection points listed below.
(Please note that all donations need to be new and unopened.)

It is so nice to see a feel-good story amongst all the negativity in the news, it restores our faith in humanity and in the sisterhood. Because of one woman’s tenacity, courage and determination, hundreds of women will have it a little bit easier when it’s that time of the month.  Thanks goes to Lenny Jacoby, Ruah and to all who have donated.

“It’s been overwhelming, inspiring, amazing and just down right generous!” Lenny says of the whole experience.  “Perth people really are awesome!”


Essentials for Women of Perth
Our donation from Seasons Online


The link to the facebook event that started the whole thing is here:  Essentials for Women of Perth Event Page

There is also a facebook page if you require more info:                    Essentials for Women of Perth Facebook group


If you would like to donate please do so in the month of November to one of these drop off points around Perth:


West Perth

Ruah Head Office

Suite 67, Plaistowe Mews, West Perth


Christian Funerals:  Tel: 9370 5315

302 Whatley Crescent Maylands

(Please call before dropping goods to this site as there may be a funeral taking place.)

Victoria Park

Park Property

434 Albany Highway Victoria Park



Simplicity Funerals:  Tel: 9534 9488

73 Gordon Road Mandurah

(Please call before dropping goods as there may be a funeral taking place.)



Endota Spa

18 Essex St, Fremantle



Barbarian Strength and Conditioning

3/23 Cort Way, Rockingham



Seadragonz Swim School

44 Allen Rd, Forrestdale


 Canning Vale

Totally Sound Health

4/2 Panama St, Canning Vale



Simplicity Funerals:  Tel: 9390 3000

138 Third Avenue Kelmscott

(Please call before dropping goods as there may be a funeral taking place.)



Simplicity Funerals:  Tel: 93000888

8/71 Winton Road Joondalup

(Please call before dropping goods as there may be a funeral taking place.)


 Osborne Park

Simplicity Funerals:  Tel: 9443 1666

442 Scarborough Beach Road Osborne Park

(Please call before dropping goods as there may be a funeral taking place.)



The Cornerstone Ale House

11 Kingsbridge Blvd, Butler



Donut King

Midland Gate Shopping Centre



Woolworths,  Kalamunda


If you are in country WA here are the links to those facebook pages:


Thank you to all those who are going to donate.
What do you think of the campaign?


We welcome your comments, questions and well-thought out debates but please keep it respectful. We will not tolerate rudeness or aggression, there’s enough of that in our world. Let’s keep it polite and please remember that there is a real person behind every keyboard. Thank you.

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