Handbags of Hope

Jul 15, 2020

With a presence in almost every ZIP code in America, The Salvation Army is uniquely positioned to respond to the unique needs of people living in poverty. These challenges are exponentially magnified during times of crisis, including pandemics like coronavirus (COVID-19). Across the United States, we are stepping up to the challenge and continue to serve the most vulnerable populations in each community. This is just one of many stories of how we are meeting the needs of those who rely on The Salvation Army during difficult times.

From Judy Walsh of St. David's Episcopal Church of Southfield:

Despite this challenging summer of 2020, hope and positivity are alive and well in our area. St. David’s Episcopal Church of Southfield and The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division have partnered to bring a smile to faces of women in need.

In May 2020, our church's Newcomer's Outreach Committee was brainstorming on how we could help the women in our community who were hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. One of our ideas was to pack new and gently used purses with essential supplies to give to women in need; this way, the supplies could meet important needs while the purse was more of a fun, lavish touch. We reached out to The Salvation Army to see if they would help us distribute the purses, and we were thrilled when they told us they were completely on board! We hit the ground running in June and July collecting new and gently used purses and purchasing toiletries and personal care items to fill the handbags. On July 15th the group gathered outdoors for a Packing Party, creating an assembly line with socially distanced volunteers wearing masks and gloves. Fifty purses were packed with a variety of items, including hand sanitizer, toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, and first aid kits. Purses will be distributed by The Salvation Army volunteers to women in local area shelters.

The Outreach Committee from St. David’s is driven by the parish mission: “To love and serve God through worship, outreach and love for all.”  The group consists of approximately 10 parishioners, the parish administrator, and the rector, The Very Reverend Chris Yaw. The participants live in surrounding areas, including, Berkley, Royal Oak, Southfield, Clawson, Beverly Hills, Huntington Woods and Bloomfield. 

The spirit of generosity, kindness and teamwork fueled this joint project. The venture was a win-win for all involved, and we look forward to additional projects with The Salvation Army in the future. Handbags of Hope gave everyone a much needed shot of hope during this difficult summer.      

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