She decided to organize a purse project, collecting gently used purses – with gift items and notes of encouragement in them – to be distributed throughout the community. The success of the project amazed her.
“I expected to get about 50 but I got about 150,” she said. “People are very generous and make me proud to be part of this community.”
She was inspired by the success of the Christmas Shoebox program, which she took part in last year.
“I discovered the community really, really wants to help but people often don’t know how. If something is structured it’s easy so I decided to create a Mother’s Day version. The average woman has purses she doesn’t use so I thought this would work.”
Some of the purses donated were never used. Each one includes items that total about $20 in value. People were asked to include an essential (such as deodorant or toothpaste and a toothbrush), a sweet treat and a gift item (such as body lotion or a scarf). They were also asked to add an encouraging note.
“I feel the note is the most important,” said Kearney. “Those can mean a lot to people and make them feel they’re not alone.”
Purses will be distributed through places such as the transition house, Colchester Sexual Assault Centre, Millbrook healing centre, food bank, Maggie’s Place and Central Nova Women’s Resource Centre.