By Justin Flynn
Three local teenagers are helping to make a difference to the region’s homeless problem.
Bellarine Secondary College VCAL students Tahnee Shanley, Charisma Boothroyd and Jack Havis were initially given a school assignment to engage in a community connection.
They decided to focus on Geelong’s homeless, particularly homeless women.
“It took a while to get started and we looked at sending products overseas, but then realised that there are a lot of people here that need help,” Tahnee, 17, from Clifton Springs, said.
The trio has been receiving donations of second-hand items that can be passed on to homeless women.
Since going viral on social media, the teens have been swamped with donations and well-wishers.
“Since we put it on social media, the amount of support we have received has been amazing,” Tahnee said.
The students have teamed up with Share the Dignity, a charity that supports homeless women.
Share The Dignity is an organisation that collects and distributes handbags full of personal hygiene products to homeless women in the community.
Women make up 44% of Australia’s homeless population.
They have a back room almost filled with handbags and other items that can be passed on to the regions’ homeless women.
“You know you’re helping people who really need it,” Charisma, 18, from Portarlington, said.
“We wanted to help give them some things that we take for granted.”
“We wanted to support and help out,” Jack, 17, from Ocean Grove said.
All three students said they want to follow a career in helping people after they leave school.
“I think people do stereotype our generation, but hopefully doing this can help change that,” Tahnee said.
Tahnee, Charisma and Jack are accepting donations until September. Items can be dropped off at both Drysdale and Ocean Grove Bellarine Secondary College campuses.