By Michelle Poirier

While the 9th annual Fill a Purse for a Sister Campaign is coming to an end, there is still time to donate a filled purse to support women and youth in crisis.

The annual campaign runs from September 1 to December 1 and was started to bring comfort, hope and dignity to women and youth in crisis with the gift of purses filled with personal necessities.

Angel Freedman, founder and president of Fill a Purse for a Sister, started the campaign in 2015 when she collected 1,500 purses, since then over 50,000 filled purses and backpacks have been donated across Canada.

Mona Steitieh, the Georgina community lead, said donations have been coming in slower this year, with around 75 purses being donated so far.

“It’s a very difficult time for so many people, so, it was expected,” Steitieh said.

“Things could happen at the very last minute, like it did last year, so, I’m still hopeful that we could come up with 150 purses.”

She says she thinks the need could be greater this year because a lot of individuals, predominantly women, are facing a lot of uncertainties in their life.

“It could be from a dangerous living situation, to having no choice but to move. I’ve met some women who were evicted, and they had no choice but to seek shelter,” she said.

According to Statistics Canada, in 2018, 44 per cent of women reported experiencing some form of psychological, physical, or sexual violence by an intimate partner in their lifetimes.
Fill a Purse for a Sister’s goal is to offer support to women who may be leaving abusive situations and find themselves without any of their belongings.

You can fill the purses with necessities like shampoo, conditioner, body wash, a toothbrush, toothpaste, tampons and pads, deodorant, and additions like a hairbrush, tissues, lip balm, a gift card, and gloves.

“I think the importance of the campaign is to remind the women who have had to make these difficult choices that they’re not alone, that sisterhood exists,” Steitieh said.

She said she wants to remind people that no donation is too small, so if you can only donate a bottle of shampoo and conditioner, that will help fill a purse.

Donations can be brought to Auntie M’s Closet (482 The Queensway S., #2, Keswick), Georgina Chamber of Commerce (20849 Dalton Rd., Sutton), Sweet Pea Accessories (130 High St., Sutton), Colour Central Hair Salon (155 Riverglen Dr. Unit 15, Keswick), Dental Hygiene on Demand (7 Fairwood Dr., Keswick), and Naturally Enchanted is arranging donations through social media (@_naturally_enchanted).

The last day to drop off donations will be December 1, so get your filled purses into one of the drop off locations. You can also make a financial donation at