Sudbury

Fill a Purse for a Sister Campaign underway in Sudbury

There's a campaign underway in Sudbury to collect donations of purses filled with toiletries for women in need. The Fill a Purse for a Sister campaign has run in other Ontario communities, but this is the first time for Sudbury.

Donations of new or gently used purses or backpacks to be filled with toiletries for women in need

This is the first time the Fill a Purse for a Sister campaign is running in Sudbury. Donations of empty purses or backpacks are welcome, or they can be filled with toiletries and hygiene products. (Submitted by Leanna Bouthillette)

Have you got an old purse or a backback lying around not being used?

Maybe you've got several purses that are still usable, but you've tired of the style.

Donations of new or gently-used purses are being welcomed for the Fill a Purse for a Sister campaign in Sudbury. The initiative has been successful in other Canadian communities, and now it's moved into Sudbury.

Leanna Bouthillette is spearheading the campaign in the city.

Leanna Bouthillette is spearheading the first ever Fill a Purse for a Sister campaign in Sudbury. She says the community has embraced the campaign so far, and she plans to continue next year. (Markus Schwabe/CBC)

"My main reason behind joining this campaign is because everything I'm collecting goes right back into our community. It doesn't go to Toronto. It doesn't go to Timmins...It stays in our community."

She says donations of just purses or backpacks are welcome, but they can be filled with toiletries and hygiene products. The bags should be in good condition without rips or broken zippers.

Suggested items to fill in the purse or backpack are shampoo, soap, feminine hygiene products, toothpaste, socks, mitts, gum and throat lozenges.

Bouthillette says the donated empty purses will be filled with products so that each recipient will be provided a bag and needed toiletries.

"We know, as women, purchasing feminine hygiene products can become expensive," she said. Adding that many women who use shelters with their children focus their needs on providing for their families, and put off their own needs.

"It's a really great program to be able to help out. [To] just make sure that everybody has something and to save them a little bit of money this time of year from having to purchase all of that."

Some of the donations that have already come in to the Fill a Purse for a Sister campaign in Sudbury. The deadline is Dec. 1 (Submitted by Leanna Bouthillette)

Bouthillette says they're also collecting gently-used backpacks and men's hygiene products as well. Those will be distributed at the local men's shelter.

Donations of any kind can be dropped off at any of the ten locations across the city until the deadline of Dec. 1.

Bouthillette says the total goal is to collect 156 purses and backbacks this year.

The agencies that will receive donations of bags filled with toiletries are: YWCA's Genevra House, Cedar Place Women and families shelter, L'association des jeunes de la rue youth shelter, the men's shelter operated by the Canadian Mental Health Association, the Samaritan Centre, Better Beginnings Better Futures, Centre Victoria pour Femmes and Centre de Sante communautaire du Grand Sudbury.

Bouthillette says the Sudbury community has embraced the campaign so far, and she is definitely planning to continue again next year.

"The outreach has been amazing."

The drop-off locations are: Ramakko's, RPM Automotive on Falconbridge Road, C&R Roofing in Coniston, Smiles Dentistry in Chelmsford, Leather Works Plus on Lorne Street., Auto Wholesale on Lorne Street, Neo Women's Health Centre on Regent, and the Winter Market at the Southridge Mall (on Saturdays).

With files from Angela Gemmill

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