At Handbag Heaven, we’re blessed to be able to support a variety of U.S.-based nonprofit organizations and love to do so, especially during the holiday season. One of our favorite initiatives is the Pampering Purse Project. This worthy cause, founded in 2008 by Maggin M. and Aurora H., was developed to bring holiday cheer to women in McLennan County Texas and surrounding area abuse shelters.
Although we’ve donated to the organization for three years now, we just recently had the opportunity to interview Maggin in an effort to help her tell the Pampering Purse Project story. Read on to learn how a gently-used purse donation can help make someone’s holiday season a little bit brighter!
Why did you start the Pampering Purse Project?
Maggin: The Pampering Purse Project was created because we (Aurora and me) felt as though there was a need to focus on assisting abused and neglected women who were residing in the local family and abuse shelters during the holidays. We wanted to help them improve their self-esteem, give them the tools to feel beautiful, and provide them with a few basic essentials to give them a positive and bright outlook on their futures. We wanted to ensure these women, who took bold steps to get themselves (and sometimes their children) out of an unfortunate situation, were not overlooked or forgotten during the holidays.
How do you help ensure these women aren’t overlooked during the holidays?
Maggin: Each year, prior to Christmas, we collect gently-used and new purses. In addition to the purses, we collect products to fill them. These donations come from various businesses and people. We fill the purses with the donated items and drop them off at one of the local women’s shelters. It is important to note that without the generosity of businesses like Handbag Heaven and personal donations from individuals, the Pampering Purse Project would not be as successful as it has been in the past. We are grateful beyond measure for the many blessings that have been bestowed upon the project!
You’ve mentioned before that this is also becoming a family initiative for both of you. Why is that so important?
Maggin: The Pampering Purse Project has always, and will always, be a family initiative for us. The two of us feel that we have to fulfill our purpose in life, and we feel as though our purpose is making a difference. God placed the two of us and our families on the same path in life, and together we will strive to do our part. We have to be the example we wish to see in our children. If we want our children to make a difference and change lives, we have to show them the way. Lead by example! There is no way to truly ever describe the feeling you get deep down in the bottom of your heart when you know you have done God’s work.
Do you have plans for growth?
Maggin: Oh, my! The day that we expand outside of our area, even if it is just to the next county over, will be a glorious day, indeed! Our hope is that the Pampering Purse Project will grow, but, until then, we will just continue to do what we do!
Can you expand on the products you need to fill your purses?
Maggin: Any beauty products that are donated to our cause, of course, make their way into the purses! Travel/personal sized lotions, shampoos/conditioners, sanitizers, lip gloss, socks, etc. If it is donated, it goes into the purses! In addition to beauty products, we love to place motivational pamphlets/booklets, employment resources, and etiquette literature into the purses.
How did you find Handbag Heaven?
Maggin: By fate, we’d like to think! Actually, a friend of ours had purchased a purse online through Handbag Heaven and mentioned the company to us. She knew that we were on the search for gently used and new purses, and she thought it would be worth a shot to contact your company. We were hopeful you would have slightly damaged or returned purses to donate. Since the first year that we reached out to your company, you all have been graciously supporting us!
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Maggin: There are truly no words that will ever describe how grateful we are to the support and donations that Handbag Heaven always provides to the Pampering Purse Project. It is through the support that we receive from your company (and many other companies and individuals) that we continue to be successful in providing a gift to those, who quite possibly otherwise, may not receive a personal gift during the holidays. We will forever be grateful for your partnership and support.
For additional information regarding the Pampering Purse Project, please visit the organization’s Facebook page. To make product donations to the Pampering Purse Project, Maggin asks that you email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.