This story was submitted by Luciana DeSilva, Stoneham Memorial Church Compassion Boston Coordinator.
With generous donations from Stoneham Memorial Church members, the Purse Project—or Handbag of Hope Project—began. We decided to collect purses, fill them, and donate them to Amira (an amazing, long term, live-in program for sexually exploited girls) and another women’s homeless shelter in Malden. All together, we had about 50 purses to give away.
The purpose of this project was to give at least a moment of hope to struggling women. New or very lightly used purses were stuffed with personal care items such as face wipes, Chapstick, toothpaste and toothbrushes, lotion, shampoo and conditioner, soap, razors, feminine products, etc. We put GLOW Tracks in the front pockets. Stuffing them was fun, especially with help from some of the kids, who really enjoyed it. Along with personal care items, we also brought a box of Desire of Ages books that each woman received along with her bag.
It was a great feeling to know that we were not only providing these women with products that would truly brighten their day, their week, or their life, but were also giving them the chance to read about the hope of Jesus Christ.