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Broncos proud to help Share the Dignity

Brisbane players including Jamayne Isaako and NRLW star Ali Brigginshaw helped launch Share the Dignity's annual 'It's in the Bag' Christmas appeal on Wednesday.

Other current and former Broncos including Pat Carrigan, Keenan Palasia, Brendan Piakura, Darius Boyd and Justin Hodges participated in a packing drive at St Patrick's College in Shorncliffe.

Share the Dignity, which supports women and girls experiencing homelessness, fleeing domestic violence or doing it tough by distributing sanitary items, is a corporate partner of the club.

The charity is aiming to pack 4,000 bags full of essential products during the September school holidays. They will then be gifted to women and girls in need for Christmas via other charity partners.

Donations can be made at Bunnings stores around Australia from 19-28 November or by virtually sponsoring a bag.

Isaako, who was the Broncos' Ken Stephen Medal nominee this year for his off-field work, has a proud affiliation with Share the Dignity.

"One of the main reasons I put my hand up today is because I have a daughter myself and it’s been great coming out and supporting Share the Dignity by packing bags for women and girls who don’t have access to these essential items," he said on Wednesday.

Carrigan added that it was a "really special cause".

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"I know a lot of women in my life have access to these things and it’s not the case for everyone, so it's a special privilege that we get to be here today to help out those less fortunate and pack some essential goods which all women deserve the right to freely get," he said.

Retired great Hodges, who now passionately works in the community, knows the bags will make a massive difference.

"I work with young Indigenous kids every day and we go out to these remote communities and see the kids and the life that they live, and there are so many small things that we take for granted, like hot water, electricity and these essential items," Hodges said.

"So it's always good to give back, simple gifts like these bags will go a long way. It's awesome that we can partner up and give the gift of joy, but also help the parents out as well as it's another cost they don’t have to worry about."

NRLW captain Brigginshaw, meanwhile, is a Beyond the Broncos mentor in schools and has seen young women struggling.

"I work in this space so these bags go to some of the young teenagers that I work with," Brigginshsaw said.

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"Coming into Christmas, we all know how hard that time is for some, and to see young girls get these packages and their face light up over getting shampoo, conditioner, toothbrushes, pads and tampons, it really does make your day."

Founder and managing director Rochelle Courtenay said that with COVID-19 affecting many regions, virtual bag sales will be crucial in aiding Share the Dignity to assist vulnerable women.

"I've lost sleep thinking about the number of charity requests we've received this year but have been unable to meet," Ms Courtenay said.

"We clearly saw the impact of COVID-19 last year – we received 90,000 It's in the Bag donations compared to 145,000 the previous year.

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"Fulfilling this year's requests will be no easy feat given the current lockdowns. It has always been our goal to ensure every woman and girl spending Christmas in a domestic violence shelter receives the basic essentials and importantly, feels loved.

"We're also making it our mission this year to give remote and regional communities the support they need.

"In times of crisis, these communities are often the hardest hit, but they're also the most difficult for us to reach due to the expense and logistical challenges.

"It's so much more than just a bag - for many, it's the only gift they will receive this Christmas. A simple gift, filled with essential products, little luxuries and kind words, provides hope and dignity for many women and girls.

"That's something we all deserve.”