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 more than 5000 purses for women in need. I believe that #TogetherWeAreStronger #TogetherWeShallRise #ThePowerOfUs
Jacqueline Camacho-Ruiz, Director of Magix (Magic x 10)
Nancy Vasser, Secretary & Director of Special Projects
Gwendolyn McNutt, Treasurer & Director of Purse Events
Janet DeLorenzo, Director of Creative Services
April Arnold, Angel Ambassador Coordinator
Bridget Hatch, Media Advisor Extraordinaire
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.
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 and most importantly, a note of inspiration. Please so not include any shaving razors. 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.
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.
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
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! " Neha Gill, Executive Director, Apna Ghar, Inc. (Our Home). Thank you once again for the support and making it easy for the pick up.
Neha Gill - Executive Director
Thank you to these incredible public servants who have stepped up and joined our mission: Senator Ellman's quote: “The #LovePurse initiative is fantastic because, for women who have overcome immense struggles, a purse full of personal care supplies and kind words can symbolize a fresh start,” State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) said. “Especially for women in our community, I want these purses to serve as a gentle reminder that they deserve to be happy and healthy, and that self-care is not a luxury but a necessity.”
Senator Glowiak Hilton's quote:“With October recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, it was important for me to host an event with the goal of uniting survivors with individuals in our community,” Glowiak Hilton said. “By donating a purse filled with toiletries in an effort to empower women to overcome abusive relationships, we are working to comfort and support survivors of domestic violence.”
Cook County Clerk Karen A. Yarbrough quote: "When my friend Maria Castro told me about #LovePurse and the inspirational work being done to collect these special purses for women suffering from domestic violence and other difficult circumstances, I knew immediately that I wanted to help," said Cook County Clerk Karen A. Yarbrough. "The employees of the Clerk's Office poured their hearts into our incredible #LovePurse collection drive, and we are proud to be part of such a special cause that reminds women in need, one purse at a time, that there are many people across our communities who support and care for them."
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 and Bear Family Restaurants. 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: WTTW - Chicago Tonight Latino Voices, Fox32 News Chicago, 95.9 The River, Lawndale News, NCTV, The QUO, WBBM Newsradio 780, Naperville Sun, Negocios Now, Landmark & Main & Luxe for their coverage of our mission. You can view some of them below:
youtu.be/Q3cEh_jiFXk (The Quo)
This incredible events organization is honoring Love Purse' very own board member Gwen McNutt by collecting purses that will be gifted to A Safe Haven in Chicago in her name.
The purse & toiletry collection will take place at the:
ILEA Summerfest ILEA (International Live Events Association) Chicago June 21, 2022 5:00 PM CDT - 8:00 PM CDT The Carter 1948 W Fulton St Chicago, IL 60612
https://thecarterchicago.com/ ILEA Chicago
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services & Kindness Foundation
Friday, July 8th
Saturday, July 9th
11:00 - 2:00 p.m.
BHHS Naperville Parking Lot
564 S. Washington Street
Additional Drop Off Locations:
Naperville Public Library
Plainfield Public Library
For more information, contact:
Sarah Ruzick (Realtor)
Michelle Flynn (Realtor)
Thank you to the growing list of
who have stepped up to put love on shoulders of women in need. This mission would not be what it is without any of you:
April Arnold - Elmhurst
Jill Lubinski - Toronto, Canada
Beatrice Cantu - Chicago
Karina Garcia - Aurora
Senator Ellman - DuPage County
Senator Glowiak-Hilton - DuPage County
Bonnie Johnson - Evergreen Park
Gail Lovero - Berwyn
Delia Jasso - Dallas, TX
Michelle Thorsen - South Elgin
Maribel Garcia - Berwyn
Diana Martinez - Glen Ellyn
Margarita Morelos - Bolingbrook
Stacy Lyddon - West Chicago
Rosie Castro - San Antonio, TX
Evelyn Sanguinetti - Wheaton
Laura Castillo - San Antonio, TX
Vicki Bradley - Ontario, Canada
Clerk Karen Yarbrough - Cook County
Clerk Iris Y. Martinez - Cook County
Marisel Melendez - Chicago
Cherie Coleman - Chicago
Nicole Buchanan - South Elgin
Priscilla Guasso - Miami, FL
Elizabeth Colon-Rivera - Frankfort
Beti Veri-Atilano - Forest Park
Christina Campos - Aurora
Toni LoCasto - Elmhurst
Jessica Brown - Chicago
Diana Martinez - Glen Ellyn
Mandy Booth - Roselle
Sarah Ruzick - Naperville
Michelle Flynn - Naperville
Dennis McKinnon - 1985 Bears
Only new purses & toiletries are accepted due to COVID
To find large purses to fit all the needed toiletries under $20.00 you can check out the Amazon site below:
Founder & President
President & CEO
Interim, Executive Director
Joyce M. Coffee
Manager, Fund Development
President & Founder