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Mini Care Mates has assisted many charities with donated toiletries packs and we’ve found it extremely rewarding to help people in need.

A few months ago, a woman called Stacy contacted us to see if we were available to contribute some miniature toiletry products to her cause.

It didn’t take long for us to say yes, and we think you’ll quickly see why too.

Stacy from Escabags

Stacy sewing an Escabag for her charity

Escaping domestic violence

Stacy began her charity, Escabags, earlier this year after hearing about the horrific and violent death of Hannah Clarke and her three children. Stacy herself had previously escaped a domestic violence situation in 2018.

“Two years ago, my then-partner very violently attacked me, throwing me onto the driveway. I had no phone, no money, no essentials – just my car keys,” she explains.

Injured and incredibly upset, Stacy escaped to a friend’s house. The next day she found the courage to go to the supermarket to get toiletries, sanitary products and fresh bedding for her friend’s spare room. But the outing left her shaken.

“I will never forget how I felt walking around the supermarket that day – vulnerable, frightened and embarrassed. Not only were people looking at me, but because my dear friend was male, people were putting two and two together and making five, thinking that he was the perpetrator,” she says.

Escabags final product

A bag in the Escabag range

Escabags – package with a purpose

A year later in August 2019, Stacy emigrated to Australia after living in a women’s shelter to escape her partner. She was prompted to leave the shelter and the country after her ex-partner found her using a tracking device he attached to her car.

“I felt leaving the country was my only option,” Stacy explains. It has been a road to recovery since then. “After being diagnosed with post-traumatic shock disorder in Australia, I decided to invest in a sewing machine as I had enjoyed a taster class I had participated in at the women’s shelter in the UK.”

As she began to sew, Stacy reflected on the vulnerable moments in her life, and found her calling.

“I never wanted anyone to have to go and do that trip to the supermarket as I did that day. I wanted to provide a service for people escaping their abusers where by they could collect the things they desperately needed in places such as service stations, police stations or hospitals. Or better yet, have a friend collect a pre-packed bag for them prior to their planned escape, so that they could avoid an abusive situation altogether,” Stacy says.

The idea for Escabags was born.

Stacy began sourcing toiletries and other essentials to put inside her tote bags to donate to women and children escaping domestic violence situations. When Stacy contacted Mini Care Mates, we jumped at the opportunity to donate products to the worthy cause.

Products inside the Escabags include toiletries, sanitary items, tissues, wet wipes and antiseptic gel. For the ‘Parent & Child Escabags, there are additional items such as nappies, baby blankets, children’s stories and a teddy bear.

Escabags totes

Hand-sewn Escabags

Adding a personal touch

Stacy hand sews all the bags and adds a further personal touch by handwriting a card that goes inside each Escabag to make sure the victim knows they’re not alone.

“Sometimes it is only the bruises that are noticed on a person who has been abused, however I feel that the real damage is done to a person’s soul. It’s my job to remind them that I was once where they are at that time, and that an Escabag truly is the first step in them becoming a survivor and no longer a victim,” she says.

Escabags around Australia

Although the charity is less than a year old, Escabags can already be found throughout police stations and other businesses in all states of Australia.

Stacy explains how rewarding it is to find the Escabags spread far and wide – knowing she is doing her bit to help.

“Every day I wake up to another business requesting to stock Escabags. And the more widely available Escabags are, the more lives that could be potentially saved from domestic and family abuse in Australia,” she says.

Stacy says the feedback on her charity has been overwhelmingly positive, not just from other organisations but from those who have been victims of abuse and violence. “Survivors have expressed to me how they had wished Escabags had been available to them and their children during the time that they escaped their abuser,” she says.

Mini care Mates charity donation

Some of the products Mini Care Mates donated to Escabags

Finding her purpose

Starting the charity has given Stacy what she says is a ‘purpose to her life’, and says she feels so fortunate to be able to provide a service which she knows gives people hope and allows them to recognise the bravery it takes to leave an abuser.

“There is nothing more rewarding for me than knowing I could possibly be saving a person’s life by making Escabags available to them,” she says.

“I don’t want anyone to feel like a statistic or another number to be forgotten. Collecting an Escabag is possibly the bravest and most life changing event a person may ever decide to do for themselves and their children.”

Stacy Escabags today show

Stacy on the Today show speaking about Escabags

Stacy says she is working towards growing the Escabags’ team and creating a network for survivors to turn to when in need.

“Survivors can currently register their escape with Escabags and we’re in the process of building a support network so our team can get in touch with them to check in and provide assistance,” she says.

If you would like to learn more about Escabags or make a donation, you can visit their website here.