My story with the foundation of Purses For A Purpose started with my dad. He showed me a Facebook flyer that said "Have an extra purse? Don't sell it, give it to a homeless woman". So, a huge shoutout to my dad for initiating this evergrowing organization.
We began discussing our ideas and tactics and Purses For A Purpose came to light. Purses for a Purpose was born under the core belief that all homeless women have value in society and to raise awareness about the evergrowing homeless crisis. We started spreading the word on social media about our project and that we were in need of purse and travel-sized toiletries contributions, and to our astonishment, we received a lot of donations and praise!
As our social media marketing grew on Facebook, so did the opportunity to finally distribute the fully stocked purses. I partnered with the Street Boutique, the homeless advocacy division of Think Dignity in San Diego, and began traveled with them around North County San Diego every other month. During the course of my distributions, I learned, and continue to learn, so much from the stories of the homeless women I have met in regard to the evergrowing homeless crisis.
Throughout the filters of photos, you can see how much this organization has grown. In the beginning, we didn’t know the most suitable method when packing and distribution the purses, but as I kept going back to deliver, I found what worked and what didn't. Approximately, my first delivery in August 2019 had around 14 bags, October 2019 there were 20 bags, December 2019 there were 22 bags, and my most recent delivery from February 2020 (pre-COVID) had roughly 14 bags. I learned throughout the delivery process and how every delivery is a hit or miss, mainly depending on how many women show up, so some days I went home with extra bags and reused them for the next event.
During quarantine, I filled over 50 purses with plentiful supplies, and I still have a few more to complete once I receive more donations. We are unsure about when or how we will be delivering the purses due to current circumstances, but hopefully soon.
I want to thank you for your support and for wanting to help us in any way possible.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out on our contact page!
- Shayna Rutman & Keith Rutman