You can’t have too many purses, right? We’re going out on a lady limb here and saying WRONG. As hard as it may be to admit and as much as we love shopping ’til our bunions hurt, we all have way too much stuff. We’ve got too many purses, and way too much to fill them, too.
So let’s do what Angel Freedman did. She’s a Richmond Hill social worker who decided it was time to shed some extra and share it with a sister. Angel (of the infamous Angel’s Garage, where she collects used items for Toronto shelters) heard about a very interesting purse program in Texas and thought the idea was brilliant. Angel calls her program the Fill a Purse for a Sister Campaign and it’s catching fire everywhere. We asked Angel to explain the Campaign and its effect on her and everyone around her.
How the Fill a Purse for a Sister Campaign Works
All you have to do to help out a sister in need is fill a purse with brand new goodies—such as notepad, pen, coffee gift card, small calendar, flashlight, whistle, lip balm, book, brush, tampons, soap, shampoo, conditioner, scarf, gloves, hat, wallet, Kleenex, gum, and whatever you’ve got—and drop it at a specified location. From there, Angel and her team of angels drive those purses to women in local shelters, social agencies and crisis centres. How beautiful is that?
Why is This Campaign So Important?
Last year, the campaign kicked off with a bang. It happened fast. One minute, Angel was told about the idea, the next minute she made an event page, and the next thing she knew, she had collected 1500 purses. This year, Angel wants to reach thousands, every shelter in the city—and change lives one purse at a time.
Most homeless women don’t have purses and they definitely don’t have the items to put inside it. All women like to carry a purse. There’s something about it that gives you a feeling of keeping your dignity intact. If you think about it, when you’re distraught—rushing out of the home away from violence, for instance—you leave without your purse. Angel’s goal is to help women to show other women that we care about them, that we are here for them. That’s why it’s called a Sister Campaign.
This movement has caught on so fast because it’s about giving and people love to give. Plus, it’s a fun project, choosing all this great stuff to fill your purse with, knowing it will help and delight someone. Some people even write notes in their purses. What a lovely gesture that is.
Which Cities are On Board?
So far, all of York Region and the Greater Toronto Area are on board. There are drop-off spots in Richmond Hill and Newmarket (listed on the left), and the angel team is hard at work sourcing more locations.
If you know of any businesses in the Toronto area that would accept purses and hold them for weekly pickups, please post them on the Fill A Purse For A Sister Campaign Facebook page. The page has up-to-date information on drop locations and new ones are coming soon. So log on, post pics, share stories and help keep us all excited!
And if there is no Campaign in your city and you want to join this team of angels, do it! You can take the movement to the next level by running a campaign in your city, community, school or place of work. How? Just post a message to the Facebook page. The angels will help make it happen.
How Does it Feel to Give Back in This Way?
It is wonderful to be here and to be able to help, Angel says. Without all of the people who are on board to help and all the people who donate, there would be no program. In her words: I’m humbled by women wanting to help women. My job is to give them an avenue to do that. You bring your purses to me, and I’ll make sure they arrive at the right home. It’s as simple as that.