Members of the P.E.O. Sisterhood Chapter BM Courtenay got together to stuff handbags with essentials last year. Photo by Jolene Rudisuela

Handbags offer hope and more for Comox Valley women

The Handbags for Hope donation drive encourages anyone to help support women less fortunate

While it has style, Jane Wood is hoping what’s inside hundreds of handbags in the Comox Valley this year will bring more than just good fashion sense.

She’s hoping the contents in the handbags will help women in the Comox Valley in need for the fourth year in a row.

Wood is the co-ordinator of the Handbags for Hope donation drive, which encourages anyone to help support women less fortunate within the Valley during the holiday season.

Not only are handbags donated, but the goal is to fill them will essentials such as full-sized shampoo/conditioner, toothpaste and toothbrushes, lip balm, shower gel, sanitary items, hair ties, toiletries, chocolate/candy, pens and notebooks.

Additionally, she encourages anyone wanting to donate to include “a note of hope” from the donor to the woman who will be receiving the handbag.

The notes could be a Christmas wish, a note to say ‘we’re here to support you’ or ‘we’re thinking of you,’ Wood explained.

“Every year, the women ask for the handbags and they look forward to them. (Unfortunately) I don’t think it’ll ever stop.”

Wood estimated she will hand out between 300 to 400 bags this year, and since the program’s inception, she believes they have collected and handed out between 1,000 to 1,500 bags.

Once full and completed, the bags will be handed out through the Comox Valley Transition Society at the annual Christmas lunch on Dec. 16 where women will be given the opportunity to ‘shop’ for whichever bag they like. The bags will also be handed out thought the Comox Bay Care Society’s Care-a-van.

Donations and bags can be dropped off at the transition society at 625 England Ave., or pick- up can be arranged through Wood by calling 250-897-6712 or emailing JaneWood1234@yahoo.com.

She is also looking for volunteers to help organize the bags the night on Dec. 15.

“This is something all women, older or younger, can contribute to for other women in the community,” she added.


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