Boise nonprofit helps women in need, one bag at a time

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BOISE, Idaho – A local nonprofit works to ensure women in need have basic necessities, one handbag at a time.

A woman from Boise started what is now a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit called Purses with a Purpose about two years ago after waking up one morning and realizing that collecting lightly used handbags for those who needed it was his goal. She asked her friends to help her pick up and fill purses with things like soap, toothpaste and feminine hygiene products.

Now, the organization donates over 200 upholstered handbags to local organizations each month.

“Like women who get out of prison, they get a handbag, domestic violence, teenagers in need, we take care of it. We now do a lot of high schools for homeless teens in the high schools, the refugee community, we tried to really cover it all, ”said Launie Wolverton, founder of Purses with a Purpose.

One of the organizations they donate to is Interfaith Sanctuary and they will tell you that handbags are a fun way for guests to get essentials.

“Our guests are really excited when we receive these handbag donations,” said Interfaith Sanctuary Co-Director Maranda Jay. “It really gives them the opportunity to be pampered in a certain way, but also to get some much needed and necessary hygiene items that are specially made for women.”

Handbag paddings ensure that essential hygiene items are not the only items in handbags.

“We just started asking for hats and mittens because I think right now, with the cold weather, you know we’d like to put them in there. In the summer it’s flip flops, ”Wolverton said.

They also throw in a fun surprise or two.

“They always put something cool in there like socks or fluffy earrings or just something cool to surprise the ladies,” Jay said.

Purses with a Purpose even has a partnership with Amazon.

Amazon actually contacted me and said, ‘Hey, if we have any boxes that are damaged or we can’t use them or whatever, would you like them? “” Wolverton said.

For more information on purpose grants or to make a donation, click here.

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