BRADFORD WOMEN’S+ GROUP
Thanks to the generosity of Bradford’s residents and businesses, 329 people in our community will receive the gift of a purse or backpack filled with personal necessities this holiday season.
The Fill a Purse for a Sister Campaign is an annual initiative that aims to bring comfort, hope, and dignity to women and youth in crisis with the gift of purses. The Bradford Women’s+ Group’s was Bradford’s community lead again this year, collaborating with community groups, local businesses, schools, professionals, and residents to collect donations during the month of November.
“The Bradford collection for the Fill a Purse for a Sister Campaign has always been a true community effort. Every year we are left feeling inspired and grateful for the continued kindness and support from our neighbours and local businesses,” said Bradford Women’s+ Group member, Tricia Hulshof. “We hope the purses and backpacks show our community members that they are part of a community that cares about them.”
The 329 purses and backpacks are being donated to five local non-profit organizations that provide services to people who are in crisis, who are fleeing violence and abuse, or who could use some extra joy this holiday season. Abuse Hurts, Imani’s Place, A Hand Up Clothing Room, CONTACT Community Services, and UPlift Black will receive donations this week and distribute them to people in the community before the holidays.
“We are more than grateful for the purses and continuous support for the women at Imani’s Place,” said Lisa Ogbole, executive director of Imani’s Place, a Black- and survivor-led safe haven for women who have experienced domestic violence, human trafficking, or other forms of violence and abuse. "This year has been a challenging one for the most vulnerable women and these donations can help them wrap up their year on a happy note.”
The Bradford Women’s+ Group thanks Bradford Wellness, Times Designs, and GoodLife Fitness for offering their space as a drop off location for the second year in a row, as well as Lullaboo Nursery and Childcare Centre, South Simcoe Wreaths, Jaydee’s Market, F45 Training, Century 21, Chris Hadfield Public School, Sai Ranade, Backroads Riding Club, Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association, and the Bradford West Gwillimbury Public Library for their contributions. Local community group the Bradford Hustlers played a significant role in this year’s campaign, helping to coordinate collection boxes and pick up donations.
“It is a privilege to have the opportunity to volunteer and help in your own community. Everyone should take this opportunity to give back where they can,” said Bradford Hustler, Mariam Qureshi. “It’s been an honour for the Bradford Hustlers to be part of this journey and we will continue to give back and help Bradford thrive.”
On Sunday, Dec. 5, over 35 women and youth representing the Bradford Women’s+ Group, the Bradford Hustlers, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association, and UPlift Black gathered at the Bradford branch of the Royal Canadian Legion to sort donations, fill purses and backpacks, take a final count, and prepare the donations for delivery. The Legion graciously donated their hall at no-cost, providing a safe and warm space for the groups to come together and wrap up the 2021 campaign.
“Fill a Purse for a Sister is a women-led campaign that highlights how impactful it is for women to lead and organize in our community,” said Bradford Women’s+ Group member. Jennifer Lloyd. “We look forward to providing more opportunities for women+ to take action, embrace leadership, and have an impact in the lives of others in 2022!”
Learn more about the Fill a Purse for a Sister Campaign at fillapurseforasistercampaign.ca.