1900+ purses collected from first ever Purse Project

(Canton, OH) March 14, 2019 – United Way of Greater Stark County collected 1,900+ purses and 17,000+ personal care and snack items over the past few months to assemble into care kits for local women in need.

The Purse Project was a three-part opportunity to assist women in our community. In January, new and gently-used purses were collected, then in February, personal care items were collected to put into the purses, and finally on March 8th, International Women’s Day, volunteers helped sort donations and assemble the purse kits at JRC Adult Day Center.

Volunteers from local businesses like Aultcare, Aultman Women’s Board, Chrysalis Beauty in Transition, JN House Enterprises, Synchrony Financial and TimkenSteel were at the event Friday to organize and sort the personal care items, write notes of encouragement and place the items into the donated purses.

Some of the personal care items collected include soap, shampoo & conditioner, lotion, body wash, tooth brushes & toothpaste, feminine care products, hairbands, socks and snacks.

In order to accommodate the astounding number of donations for the assembly event, JRC Adult Day Center donated the use of their ballroom to house volunteers on Friday. 400 purse kits were assembled and are being distributed to the following organizations throughout Stark County: Alliance Area Domestic Violence Shelter, Alliance for Children and Families, Anchor House, CommQuest Services Deliverance House, CommQuest Services Family Living Center, Domestic Violence Project, Inc, Rivertree Food Pantry Mission, Refuge of Hope, YWCA of Alliance and YWCA Canton.

“We never expected this project to take off to the degree that it did, and we have the power of social media to thank for it” says Laura Prengaman, United Way of Greater Stark County Director of Corporate and Volunteer Engagement. “There have been so many incredible moments throughout this project – between the sheer amount of donations, people’s willingness to volunteer and all of the encouraging statements on social media – this has truly been a community supported event. We are thankful to the many workplaces and individuals that made this such a successful drive. We are looking forward to conducting future volunteer opportunities this year to fill the remaining 1500+ purses and deliver to more women in need.”

We are very grateful to the many local businesses and organizations which supported the project by collecting donations via their employees, were a public collection site and/or volunteered their time to assemble. These businesses and organizations included 6th Street Yoga, AultCare, Aultman Women’s Board, Beaver Excavating, Belden Village Mall, Casey Roch & Associates, Chrysalis Beauty in Transition, Courtyard by Marriott Canton, Edge Hair Design, First Years Preschool & Kindergarten Center at First Christian Church, Holiday Inn Belden Village, JRC Adult Day Center, Jeff’s Motor Cars, Marshall’s Antique Warehouse, McDonald’s of JN House Enterprises, North Canton Public Library, Restoration Yoga, A. Schulman Color, Scott Talbot Salon Spa (Canton & Green), S’hair Spa & Company, Synchrony Financial, The Barrel Room, The Sangria Stand, TimkenSteel, Williams, Women United and YWCA of Canton. Many individuals in the community also generously donated items for the project.

Pictures of the event are available on the United Way of Greater Stark County Purse Project Facebook event page.

If you would like more information about volunteer opportunities from United Way of Greater Stark County, please contact Laura Prengaman, Director of Corporate and Volunteer Engagement at laura.prengaman@uwstark.org or (330) 491-9953.

About United Way of Greater Stark County
United Way of Greater Stark County fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. We win by living United. By forging unlikely partnerships. By finding new solutions to old problems. By mobilizing the best resources. And by inspiring individuals to join the fight against their community’s most daunting social crisis. Our mission is to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of our communities in Greater Stark County. In order to live better, we must live United. For more information about United Way of Greater Stark County visit www.uwstark.org. Offices are at 401 Market Avenue North, Suite 300, Canton, Ohio 44702. (330) 491-0445.