Frequently Asked Questions


Do you accept empty purses?

Purses Full of Hope does not accept any empty purses. Each purse donation must be filled with any variation of the examples we have listed under The Purses tab. Filling a purse is more than simply plucking an old purse out of the back of your closet. We want to give each donor a feeling of empowerment from helping someone else. You will hand pick the items that go inside and you handwrite the note. Hope is an action, and the action is handcrafting your donation to personalize this experience, woman to woman.

However, you can put your empty purses to good use by holding a purse stuffing event with family, friends or coworkers.

Why is it important to contact a Hope Team member prior to beginning your purse drive?

We need to be aware of all current purse drives so that we are able to plan accordingly with various shelters in the area. If you are interested in holding a purse drive please click here and let us know the time frame and location. Once we have that information we will give you everything you need to hold a successful drive.

If you are looking to hold a drive outside of the South Jersey/Greater Philadelphia area, it is imperative that you contact us prior to your drive. We will connect you with a shelter in your area and assist you with carrying through your donation delivery.

What size purse can I donate? Gently used or new?

Small to medium-sized purses work best. We ask to steer clear of large weekend bags or duffle bags and small, wallet-like bags. We ask that no high-end or designer purses be used. This is extremely important to the consistency of our donations.

If you do have small wallet-sized bags please fill them with pads and/or tampons and put them in a larger purse along with other items.

What about the size of the toiletries?

While most people have a ton of travel-sized toiletries, it’s much better to donate full-sized items as many of these woman have to share what they receive with their children.

Also, shelters have expressed that they are in need of African American hair and body products. Please do your best to incorporate that into your donation!

Why do women in shelters need things like makeup and jewelry? Shouldn’t they just receive the essentials?

Believe it or not, we’ve gotten this question before. But think about it, what is important to you as a woman is equally as important to a woman in need. What makes you feel good? Just because they are in a shelter does not mean that they don’t have the same desires and needs that we all have.

If you aren’t the type of woman to wear lipstick and paint your nails, then you don’t need to put that in your purse! When you are filling your donation, meditate on what you think you would want to receive if you are in a time of crisis.

Why is it important to handwrite a note to put in my purse and what should it say?

Think about the toughest time in your life. What were the words of encouragement that you would’ve wanted to hear at that time? You could imagine that the woman receiving your donation is a member of your family. What would you want them to know? Try to think about one of your favorite inspirational quotes or song lyrics. Your note doesn’t have to be long and detailed, as long as it comes from the heart.

Each and every note is so incredibly important because it personalizes the experience of donating a purse, woman to woman. It promotes female empowerment by bringing together women who don’t even know each other!