Purses helping domestic violence survivors

Handbags for Hope collects thousands of purses (Kate Weidaw, KXAN).

Austin, Texas (KXAN) — Most women carry a purse to hold their wallet and makeup.  But for women who are survivors of domestic violence a purse can be something so much more.

That’s why beginning Wednesday there will be a collection drive at the Travis County Sheriff’s Office off Airport Boulevard called Handbags for Hope.

For the last seven years The Texas Advocacy Project, a non-profit that provides free legal services to those dealing with domestic violence, has collected thousands of donated purses and shipped them to 78 different shelters across the state.

The key to the purse is what’s inside.

Not only are there pamphlets on how to get help but the tag that’s sewn into the purse has the 1-800-347-HOPE help line number that anyone who is involved in domestic violence can call to get free legal help.

Plus this purse drive is done in time for purses to be collected, cleaned, and shipped so children who come to the shelter with their mom can pick out a purse to give her for Mother’s Day.

“Often times when women leave a violent home they have nothing but the clothes on their back and the hand of their child so they might not have their purse which is just an everyday item that we carry,” said Heather Bellino, Executive Director, Texas Advocacy Project. “They may have grabbed a plastic bag, thrown everything they can in it and ran to the shelter.”

Those interested in donating can go down to the Travis County Sheriff’s office off Airport Boulevard through March 21st.

Or the public is encouraged to start a purse drive of their own.

For more information click here.



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