Last month, Comox Valley newcomer Jane Wood started up a campaign to collect gently-used handbags filled with essentials for women in need in the Comox Valley.
Residents were asked to drop off their Handbags For Hope to the Comox Valley Transition Society, along with a “note of hope” for the recipient.
Wood was hoping to acquire at least 125 handbags, to be distributed at the Dec. 13 Christmas lunch.
She was overwhelmed at the response from the community.
“I would like to thank the Comox Valley Community for getting behind me and this project,” said Wood. “The project far surpassed our target of 125 bags, with a final total of bags around the 500 mark. This is a remarkable result for a projects first year and I will definitely be running the project again next year.
“There were 125 bags handed out today at the Christmas luncheon. The women were very excited and thankful for the surprise, there was a lot of Christmas joy spread today. It was wonderful to see the look on the faces of the women as they decided which bag they liked and suited them.”
“Clearly there is something abut this campaign that really grabbed people’s imagination,” CVTS program co-ordinator Anne Davis said. “We have been absolutely overwhelmed with the amount of support this campaign has had. It’s such a great thing for these women, who often don’t have very much, to be able to choose their own quality handbag, with a gift inside… and to know that gift came from the community.”
Davis said the extra handbags will be used at the CVTS, when the need arises, as well as at Lilly House and Amethyst House, throughout the year.
Wood, who moved to the Comox Valley from Australia last year, said that while she organized the event, it was a community effort, and a great way for her to get to know others in the Comox Valley.
“I would like to thank all of the people in the community that took the time to gather items, donate bags, and write special notes for the project, it was wonderful to meet so many of you in the community as I went around to your houses collecting items and chatting to you all, you made this project possible,” she said. “A special mention of thanks to all of my colleagues at St Joseph’s Hospital, London Drugs, Pharmasave in Comox, Superstore, Thrifty Foods, my friends who gave up their time to help organize, and most importantly my husband and children for supporting me and giving me encouragement in the background. And thank you to the Comox Valley Transition Society for allowing me to run this project with you.”