I am Maria Castro, Founder & CEO of Inspiration. I started this project in March of 2021 and today I am honored and humbled to say we have collected and donated over 10,000 purses for women in need. I believe that #TogetherWeAreStronger #TogetherWeShallRise #ThePowerOfUs
Gwendolyn McNutt, Board Chair - Treasurer
Nancy Vasser, Board Co-chair
Janet DeLorenzo, Board Member
Bridget Hatch, Board Member & Media Advisor
Toni LoCasto, Board Secretary/Community Liaison
Durriya Gunja, Board Member
"It's not just a purse". It's more than that. It can sometimes hold our most precious items. Photos, makeup, nail file, ID's, cash, pain relievers, keys, rosary, etc. We can all remember our first purse and what it represented. Something important that we needed every time we walked out the door. Losing it meant losing a part of you. Having to leave it behind, devastating! That's why these purses hold so much meaning to the women they are gifted to. Each purse is filled with inspiration and intention to make each woman feel loved, valued and respected. Please note that only new purses and new toiletries are accepted. All gently used purses will be donated to Goodwill.
Feminine products, deodorant, soap, body lotion, hand sanitizer, tooth brush, tooth paste, mouth wash (no alcohol), lip balm, nail file, shower slippers, socks, face mask, comb, brush, full size shampoo, & conditioner, face cloth, compact mirror, chocolates, mints, floss, note pad, pen, a few coins for good fortune, no shaving razors please, and most importantly, a note of inspiration. As you fill the purse, remember how much each item will make the woman who receives it feel (special and loved), the excitement she will feel opening the purse and knowing that someone cared about her. One act of #KINDNESS can change the world
Each #LovePurse contains a personal note of inspiration for each woman. These notes are very important. We want each woman to know that she matters, she is loved, she is respected and that this too shall pass. Women don't just carry their purses for fashion, they contain their most private and personal belongings. It's an essential part of their lives. These purse cards also serve as our gift cards and can be purchased for $50.00
We will purchase a purse for you, fill it with all the essentials & this card with the name and message of your choice. These unique gift cards were created by our #AngelAmbassador, Bonnie Johnson pictured here.
This was SUCH a lovely thing that you did for DuPage Pads. I went back to our intake office with the purses, and there was actually a woman in intake who needed a #LovePurse when I arrived in the space. And for women coming into our hotel-based shelter, especially those who have had to flee a situation of domestic violence, basic feminine resources are an enormous help. So often, these women in our care are staying with us because they needed to choose between leaving everything behind and losing their lives. They are starting their lives over, oftentimes with children alongside them, and a #LovePurse can be a first step in regaining hope.
President & CEO
"The #LovePurse campaign has provided Family Shelter Services - Metropolitan Family Shelter DuPage with a wonderful opportunity to support our clients and our community members, with compassion, dignity and respect. Whether it is a single parent in our early childhood program, a survivor in our domestic violence or homeless shelters, or a client struggling with their mental health; together, we are able to let them know we see them and they matter to us; all while providing a message of hope and encouragement"
"Maria held a fantastic #LovePurse event that brought together an awesome group of like minded individuals to give back to our community in a very unique way. Mutual Ground received an entire SUV load of purses donated for the clients we serve. Mutual Ground provides domestic/sexual violence and addiction services throughout the Southern Kane and Kendall Counties. These NEW purses, filled with toiletries, cash, gift cards, and handwritten notes of inspiration from the donors, were given to our clients who were so incredibly grateful to be able to pick out a new purse and feel the individual love and support that came with each one".
Michelle Meyer, MBA
"We had a lot of excitement over the purses at the Community Crisis Center in the resident area and with some of our regular walk-in clients who depend on us for a variety of needs. One family was thrilled to receive two tote bags for mom and daughter; daughter was very happy that she had extra toiletry items to help her get through the first few weeks of high school. Another resident remarked that she “had not had a new purse in years, and now I look pretty stylish). According to our case managers, a few of the women remarked on "how nice the notes of inspiration cards were that were in the purses". One resident teared up and said that "it was nice to feel special".
Interim Executive Director
“Abusers make their victims feel like they are worthless and no one cares about them. They often leave with only the clothes on their back; no toiletries bag, sometimes not even their purse. Knowing that someone took the time to put together this special #LovePurse helps them realize that people do care about their wellbeing, the wellbeing of their children, and want them to succeed. Family Rescue is here to help these victims”
Interim Chief Development Officer
“WOW! Maria’s unstoppable persistence and compassion for women has inspired a movement called the #LOVEPURSE, we were so excited to help kick it off and be a part of its success in helping women in need get the love they need to rebuild their lives with pride and purpose! At A Safe Haven, we have the privilege of helping women, and mothers with children suffering from homelessness, addiction, domestic violence and more get their lives back on track in a way that allows them to take care of themselves and their children with jobs and permanent housing. Throughout the weeks leading up to #LOVEPURSE day at A Safe Haven, we were amazed at all of the purses that were arriving daily in the mail and through personal deliveries! It was inspiring to see how many people participated in this absolutely beautiful event that allowed us to be able to hand out hundreds of brand new purses filled with all of the essentials a woman needs to feel clean and fresh, along with the personalized notes from the donors that made them feel truly special and loved. Witnessing the joy these women expressed upon receiving their gifts will be moments we will cherish forever!
President & Founder
Since 1978 Yellow Brick House has provided life-saving services and prevention programs to meet the diverse needs of individuals, families, and communities impacted by violence. 1 in 3 women are affected by violence and in Ontario, femicide rates have increased by approximately 53% in the past year (2020-2021).
"We are grateful to the Women In Leadership Empowered and #LovePurse for supporting the women and children we serve. Financial abuse occurs in 99% of domestic violence cases and three out of four victims said they stayed with their abusers longer for economic reasons. The generous gift of gift cards and purses will give the power back to women to buy what they need, when they need it.
Thank you for helping women and children begin their journeys towards lives free from violence".
Pamela Deveaux, Manager Fund Development
"Break the Silence Foundation"
"BTSF is thrilled to have partnered with Maria Castro and her awesome organization, #LovePurse. #LovePurse came straight from her beautiful heart, and has changed thousands of women’s lives that are mentally and emotionally broken due to domestic violence. We witnessed an incredible community response on the night of Dec 2, 2021, where several hundreds of #LovePurses were collected. The First Lady of the City of Berwyn, Gail Lovero, teamed up with her incredible supporters to make this happen. Gail planned, organized, and hosted this amazing event that benefited BTSF, it was a huge success! Each purse was filled with toiletries, but also, filled with love, compassion, rosaries, prayers, and notes of inspiration. The reaction of the victims and survivors of domestic violence that received a #LovePurse, PRICELESS! We look forward to continuing to help others with #LovePurses filled with LOVE!"
I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!💞
Maribel Garcia, President & Founder
"Sarah's Inn is so grateful to #LovePurse for your thoughtful and heartfelt support! The individualized purses filled with basic necessities, toiletries, handwritten notes and lots of love will most definitely bring a smile to our client's faces this Holiday season. Thank you for your compassion and for bringing hope to those we serve!"
Carol Gall, Executive Director
When new residents come to Magdalene House Chicago, sometimes we have a week to prepare and sometimes we have a night to prepare. #LovePurse helps out so much with transitioning women into our program. It gives them the things they need to feel normal and settle into their new environment. Settling in can be scary and all of the newness is often overwhelming. So having a few things that are just your own can be so grounding as residents step in to the first day of their new journeys of recovery, hope, and healing.
Ida Butler, Executive Director, Magdalene House Chicago
Thank you to #LovePurse and founder Maria Castro for all of her support. Marie Wilkinson Food Pantry hosted its first #LovePurse campaign during Women's International Month. The Aurora community's outpoured their love, kindness and support by delivering purses to our food pantry.
We received 150 purses with many so many much needed items in each purse. We distributed purses to both of our food pantry sites. Seeing the faces of these beautiful ladies receive their purses was priceless. We saw many tears and heard many thank you / gracias.
MWFP continues to do the work of Mrs. Wilkinson providing for the most vulnerable family if it's with food, clothing or shelters.
" God chose me not to sit around, but to help people. As long as I'm living on this earth, I'm going to keep doing what I have to do." MARIE WILKINSON
Diane Renner - Executive Director
"Each year, Apna Ghar, Inc. (Our Home) celebrates the holiday season with our program participants, adult and child survivors of gender-based violence, and their families with donated gifts from our community of supporters. We are so grateful to The Love Purse Organization for the donation of purses this year. These purses signify dignity and hope, and will be welcomed by our participants as a treasured item in their journeys of healing, rebuilding and restoration. Thank you! Thank you once again for the support and making it easy for the pick up.
Neha Gill - Executive Director
“Your purses provide dignity and hope for survivors and victims of human trafficking. We so appreciate your generosity and support in helping our outreach teams and survivors with these gifts of love and encouragement. Thanks for partnering with us! “
Sam W - Human Trafficking Survivor Advocate and Co-Founder
“YWCA Evanston/North Shore is grateful for donations from Love Purse for the clients we serve at Mary Lou’s Place, our safe haven for survivors of domestic violence. Our clients are often feeling scared and vulnerable when they seek out our care, and the Love Purses helped them feel safe and cared for. Thank you for spreading love to women who need it most!”
Director, Domestic Violence
YWCA Evanston/North Shore
““Thank you so much for the wonderful Love Purse donations to our STOP IT drop-in center. This gives us the ability to meet folks basic needs in a more glamorous and fun way. Community donations show our participants that there is a lot of love in our world and provides the message that people are rooting for them in their journey.”
Assistant Program Manager
The Salvation Army North & Central Illinois Division
"Receiving a Love Purse will mean so much to the women of the WINGS Program because many of our moms come to us with nothing but the clothes on their back. Although we provide the necessities such as shampoo and towels, it is nice to also receive a beautiful new purse, which is where most of us keep our important items"
In-Kind Program & Donations Supervisor
WINGS Program, Inc.
" The variety and style of these purses are so nice and fashion forward, not to mention the generous contents in each of them. This is exactly what can help our clients in their time of need; to have some much needed essentials and thoughtful gifts. Some of the clients we serve flee the horrors of domestic violence with no belongings. These Love Purses will be such a wonderful gift for them. We are extremely grateful, thank you again!"
Chief Development Officer
Guardian Angel Community Services
Thank you, Love Purse, for your amazing donation of purses and basic needs. These items will impact the lives of our clients in so many ways. For people experiencing homelessness, having access to purses where they can carry their personal items is very important, as many do not have a secure space to properly store them. In addition, having a beautiful purse means more than that. It provides a sense of glamour and allows the person to not feel stigmatized by their clothing.
Associate Director of Youth Development
Howard Brown Health,
Broadway Youth Center
"We were so surprised when we received 56 beautiful Love Purses. All the staff and volunteers were delighted to see such a thoughtful donation. Each came with a wonderful variety of personal care products plus an encouraging note. They arrived just before Easter weekend and our clients were overjoyed. Two of them went to a couple of tweens – they were their first real purses. Thank you for your compassion, kindness, generosity, and love. We are sure they will never forget your generous gift, and neither will we".
Executive Vice President, Advancement
Loaves & Fishes
"My heart is so full of love, gratitude and appreciation. The timing of this donation could not be more timely. You will soon see/hear the Mayor of Chicago declare a state of emergency and these will be the first donations to be used to welcome our new arrivals.
We have approximately 70 volunteers to mobilize for these efforts. I cannot thank our team enough for making sure that the LovePurses you gathered were picked up to be ready in time for the expected surge.
I look forward to sharing #LoveAPurses, wearing my t-shirt and giving hope and love to our community".
Instituto del Progreso Latino
"The ladies were highly excited and surprised to get such beautiful purses with all the fantastic items. They all said it would be the only Mother's Day gift they would receive.
In the words of some..." I never received a Mother's Day gift", another said "I never expect anything for Mother's Day", and another said "the best Mother's Day ever"!
The Brunch with all the gifts was a complete success. Thank you for what you do! Blessings.
Everyday there are heroes and sheros among us who step up to help our communities, and to make a difference in the lives of our families, friends and neighbors. #LovePurse is proud to team up with Wintrust Community Banks/Wintrust Private Client, Redbox, Botanika Beauty, Bear Family Restaurants, Clayco, Goldstone Financial Group, Catan Pisco, Rathje Woodward, and Morici, Longo & Associates.. These companies have donated products or have engaged internal employees, customers and the community at large to donate hundreds of purses to women in need in their communities.
Thank you to the following media outlets: NBC5 Chicago Today Show, Chicago's Very Own WGN, WBEZ Chicago NPR, WTTW - Chicago Tonight Latino Voices, Fox32 News Chicago, 95.9 The River, Hyatt Magazine, Glancer Magazine, Lawndale News, NCTV, The QUO, WBBM Newsradio 780, Naperville Sun, Negocios Now, Our LatinX Magazine, Delaplaine Magazine, Landmark & Main & Luxe for their coverage of our mission. You can view some of them below:
https://www.nbcchicago.com/entertainment/chicago-today/its-not-just-a-purse-love-purse-carries-toiletries-and-motivation-for-women/3115763/ NBC5 Chicago Today
https://fox.zoom.us/j/91635404675 (FOX32 Good News Guarantee - Sunday Nights 9:30 pm)
https://www.wbez.org/stories/how-handbags-can-help-women-experiencing-homelessness/bebe9d9e-3c7c-40b2-8688-97a07d0f5832 (WBEZ Chicago NPR)
https://news.wttw.com/2022/05/07/love-purse-carries-necessities-inspiration-women-need (WTTW Latino Voices)
https://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/naperville-sun/ct-nvs-naperville-love-purse-st-0929-20211009-hquxj4y5jrepzgzqivgrnq67sm-story.html (Naperville Sun)
Those Facing Homelessness, Abuse benefit from Love Purse | Naperville (nctv17.com)
https://www.facebook.com/NatalieBomkeFox32Chicago/videos/405716024465606/ (Fox32 News)
youtu.be/Q3cEh_jiFXk (The Quo)
https://www.audacy.com/wbbm780/news/local/love-purses-help-women-trying-to-rebuild-their-lives (WBBM Newsradio)
https://negociosnow.com/lovepurse-org-cuando-la-caridad-lleva-por-nombre-maria-castro/ (Negocios Now)
https://www.ourlatinxmagazine.com/post/love-purse-maria-castro (Our LatinxMagazine)
Please note that only new purses can be accepted, all gently used purses will be donated to Goodwill.
Below you can find purses under $20.00 on Amazon
Founder & President
President & CEO
Interim, Executive Director
Joyce M. Coffee
Manager, Fund Development
President & Founder
San Antonio, TX
Chief Operating Officer
(224) 333-0911 www.rahabsdaughters.org
Director, Domestic Violence
YWCA Evanston/North Shore
Associate Director of Youth Development
Broadway Youth Development
Assistant Program Manager
Chief Development Officer
Executive Vice President Advancement
P.O. Box 60, Riverside, Illinois 60546