The Fill A Purse For A Sister Campaign provides comfort to women through the collecting and sharing of new and gently used purses filled with personal necessities.
Purses collected for the campaign are distributed to women’s shelters, social service agencies, and crisis centres. This year’s campaign started on September 1 and will end on December 1, 2019. Founder Angel Freedman tells us why she started the campaign and how you can help.
“I used to collect clothes for shelters; I did this for 15 years,” says Angel. “One day, someone sent me a Facebook message highlighting a woman in Texas who would fill purses with personal care items and send them to shelters. It sounded like a great idea, so five years ago I started doing the same, collecting and storing the purses in my Stouffville home, and that naturally also included Markham. Now we’re all across Canada.”
“People love doing this. They go out and pick up the purse, go shopping, fill it with personal items, as well as other little things like gloves, a scarf, and often a handwritten note wishing the woman well. It’s very touching. It’s different from writing a cheque.”
The Fill A Purse For A Sister Campaign currently has affiliate groups in York Region, Toronto, and throughout Canada. The 2018 campaign saw over 10,000 filled purses collected and distributed to shelters and agencies.
Anyone can Fill A Purse For A Sister. Simply review the guidelines below:
- Purses should be gently used and previously loved, or new. Please do not donate purses that are worn out, soiled, or ripped.
- Contents can include items such as an encouraging note, feminine hygiene products, tissues, shampoo, conditioner, a toothbrush, toothpaste, a hair brush, gloves, a hat, a scarf, lip balm, makeup, a coffee shop gift card, a notepad, a pen, a book/magazine, a whistle, flashlight, gum, etc.
- Please do not fill the purses with used items, unpackaged items, or food.
The co-leads in Markham for the campaign are Kerry McRorie and Rebecca Kopel.
“A couple of years ago, I had organized a community drive for toiletry items which I delivered to Yellow Brick House,” McRorie explains. “I loved seeing how so many people in our community were enthusiastic to help, and decided to keep it going. Once I heard what Angel Freedman, organizer extraordinaire, was doing with the Fill A Purse For A Sister campaign, I was excited to put the energy and generosity of our Markham community behind it.”
McRorie and Kopel have organized three spots in Markham where you can drop off purses filled with personal items for the campaign. These are CSN Fine Line Collision (20 Laidlaw Drive), Solace Natural Health and Massage Therapy (3 Centre Street), and Turning Hedz Creations (2925 Bur Oak Avenue). The Stouffville drop-off locations are The Hummingbird Hub at 6331 Main Street and Tipperary Taphouse at 5892 Main Street.
Photo: Founder Angel Freedman. Photo courtesy of Fill A Purse For A Sister campaign.