BRIDGEPORT — Women’s Energy Network of West Virginia recently announced the Purses for Power program in partnership with HOPE Inc. to support victims of violence in north-central West Virginia.
Purses for Power will ensure victims, women and children, entering shelters have access to personal care and comfort items and a purse or bag to store them in. The October announcement of this program coincides with Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
“Purses for Power will provide victims with essential and comfort items upon entering shelter, raise awareness around crimes of domestic, drug and sexual violence, and most importantly, give victims some things that will help make their journey towards a life free of abuse and violence a little easier,” said Michele McCord, executive director of HOPE, Inc.
Items being collected for the program include purses (new or gently used), hygiene items (shampoos, lotion, toothpaste, soap), cosmetics (make-up, perfume, face cream, nail polish), gift cards (gas, food, phone), gloves, journals, socks, hats, etc.
Purses for Power will initially serve victims in north-central West Virginia and is already garnering a lot of support.
“The outpouring of assistance we are seeing for this program is incredible,” said Sarah Veselka, Community Initiatives director of WEN WV. “We are receiving purses, bags and other donations from across the state, including from West Virginia Manufacturing Association members and even as far away as Alabama. WEN WV is eager to give back to the communities we work in, and we hope this program grows to support victims throughout the entire state of West Virginia and potentially beyond.”
The program recently received $2K in funding from the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation, which will be used to match donations being gathered by WEN WV and to purchase items that cannot be obtained through donations.
“The Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation focuses on supporting specific programs or projects by organizations located in our footprint that focus on health and human services, education, environment, and community vitality, and the Purses for Power initiative perfectly aligns with our guidelines. We wish both Hope, Inc. and Women’s Energy Network much success with this effort,” said Christine Mitchell, external affairs manager, Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation.
Funding from The Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation will be used to purchase items such as journals, calendars, snacks, gift cards for fuel or cell phone use, and personal hygiene items to be included in the donated purses and bags to be given to women and children entering shelter.
“These are all items that HOPE often sees a need for but is unable to obtain due to funding source restrictions,” McCord said.
Donations can be dropped off in Morgantown at EnviroScience, 129 Green Bag Road, or by contacting a WEN WV board member.