BOISE, Idaho — A local nonprofit is working to make sure women in need have everyday necessities, one purse at a time.
A Boise woman started what is now a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization called Purses with a Purpose about two years ago after waking up one morning and realizing gathering gently used purses for those in need was her purpose. She asked her friends for some help collecting and stuffing purses with things like soap, toothpaste and feminine hygiene products.
Now, the organization donates more than 200 stuffed purses to local organizations every month.
“Like women being released from prison, they get a purse, domestic violence, teens in need, we’ve taken that on. We are now doing a lot of the high schools for the homeless teens in the high schools, the refugee community, we’ve tried to really cover it all,” Purses with a Purpose founder, Launie Wolverton said.
One of the organizations they donate to is Interfaith Sanctuary and they’ll tell you, the purses are a fun way for guests to get some basic necessities.
“Our female guests get really excited when we get these donations of purses,” The co-director of Interfaith Sanctuary, Maranda Jay, said. “It really gives them an opportunity to be pampered in a way but also still get some very much needed, necessary hygiene items that are tailored specifically for the women.”
The purse stuffers make sure hygiene essentials aren’t the only things in the purses.
“We’ve just started asking for hats and mittens because I think that right now with it being cold, you know we would love to put those in there. In the summertime it’s flip-flops,” Wolverton said.
They also throw in a fun surprise or two.
“They always stuff something nice in there like fuzzy socks or earrings or just something nice to surprise the ladies,” Jay said.
Purses with a Purpose even has a partnership with Amazon.
"Amazon reached out to me actually and said, "Hey, if we have boxes that are damaged or we can't use them or whatever, would you like them?'" Wolverton said.
For more information on Purses with a Purpose or to donate, click here.