Hand­bags For Hope gives es­sen­tials to women in need

Waterloo Region Record - - Local - LISA RUT­LEDGE Cam­bridge Times

A group of vol­un­teers is hop­ing to pull some purse strings to brighten the spir­its of women who have lit­tle to noth­ing to call their own for the hol­i­days.

For the third year, the lo­cally or­ga­nized group Hand­bags for Hope is ap­peal­ing to the com­mu­nity for do­na­tions of gen­tly used purses to do­nate to fe­male res­i­dents at lo­cal shel­ters, in­clud­ing The Bridges and Ar­gus House.

It also is ask­ing for do­na­tions of per­sonal hy­giene, fem­i­nine and beauty prod­ucts to add to the purses.

Last year, 60 purses were filled with ev­ery­thing from tam­pons, de­odor­ant and tooth­paste to hair brushes and makeup.

Karen Mon­teiro of Cam­bridge’s Mort­gage Al­liance Max­i­mum Re­sults came up with the idea sev­eral years ago af­ter re­search­ing char­i­ta­ble ini­tia­tives sup­port­ing women.

“I wanted to fig­ure out some­thing dif­fer­ent that peo­ple aren’t do­ing around the area,” she said.

She stum­bled across a char­ity in Aus­tralia that col­lected and do­nated ba­sic need prod­ucts and beauty items for women and de­liv­ered them in purses.

“There’s ob­vi­ously a real need for this,” Mon­teiro said.

While its con­cept is sim­ple, Hand­bags For Hope has gone a long way to sup­ply­ing women with hy­giene prod­ucts to meet ba­sic needs, as well as of­fer­ing beauty prod­ucts and qual­ity re­cy­cled purses, which can help boost con­fi­dence.

And the beauty of it is that it’s an easy cause to sup­port, said Mon­teiro.

“Al­most every­body has a purse in their closet that they don’t want any­more.”

Some have do­nated purses al­ready filled with hy­giene and beauty prod­ucts, she said. No purses will be do­nated empty, how­ever.

“What­ever we’re miss­ing, I go out and buy, so we make sure there’s some­thing in ev­ery­one’s purse.”

Aside from purses, items that can be do­nated in­clude soap, body lo­tion, tooth­brushes and tooth­paste, sham­poo and con­di­tioner, de­odor­ant, fem­i­nine prod­ucts, hair­brushes and elas­tics, per­fumes, man­i­cure sets and new, un­used makeup.

Do­na­tions can be dropped off be­fore Dec. 20 at Mort­gage Al­liance Max­i­mum Re­sults, at 195 Franklin Blvd., Unit 6.

Filled purses will then be dis­trib­uted to women at lo­cal shel­ters.

For more in­for­ma­tion call 519-624-9222 or email vic­to­rian@max­i­mum­re­sults.ca.

HAND­BAGS FOR HOPE

Al­most 60 gen­tly used purses were do­nated to the Hand­bags for Cam­bridge's Hope pro­gram last year and filled with women's hy­giene and beauty prod­ucts. The do­na­tions were given to lo­cal shel­ters, in­clud­ing The Bridges and Ar­gus House.

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