Every Teen Girl In Foster Care Deserves A Special Purse


A woman’s purse symbolizes her pride, personality, and purpose.  A purse can also be a status symbol.  A study of 2000 women in the United Kingdom by Special K Mini Breaks found that the average woman has 7 handbags.  According to the UK poll, women are emotionally tied to their handbags.  Sixteen percent of the women described their handbags as a “security blanket” and 21% of respondents view a compliment about their handbag as the ultimate flattery.  In a national United States poll by Consumer Reports’ ShopSmart, women said they owned an average of 10 bags and 10 percent said they own more than 20.  None of this consumer research is shocking.   I don’t know any woman who only has one purse or who doesn’t change her purse based on her outfit, mood, or destination.

 The Child Welfare League of America reports that there are over 400,000 kids in foster care in the US.  Children move on average 7 times while in the foster care system.  Very often trash bags are the unofficial luggage of children in foster care.  They are known to move from place to place with only the clothes on their backs or their personal items stuffed into a garbage bag.  What message does it send to a child when everything they love or possess is transported in trash bags?  This is damaging to their self-esteem.  It strips them of their dignity and worth.  Trash bags should be used for trash and not children’s luggage.  Foster children also need something they can be proud of and that belongs only to them.


On November 11, 2012, The Teen Toolbox will co-sponsor the 6th Annual Pack A Purse Drive with JaMaiJaMai began this project in 2007 during her freshman year in high school.   Over the past five years she has organized this holiday drive to collect and deliver purses filled with personal care items to teen girls in foster homes, group homes, and homeless shelters.  Through the generosity of amazing donors, she has collected and donated a total of 951 purses to twenty-five organizations.


Every teen girl in foster care deserves a special purse.  Only new and gently used purses will be accepted for the Pack A Purse Drive.  Personal care items needed include: toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, hand sanitizer, deodorant, soap, lotion, powder, shampoo, conditioner, shaving items, lip gloss, etc.


Want to collaborate with us by hosting a collection site for our Pack A Purse™ Drive?  Here are 5 easy steps to Pack A Purse™ collection site success:


1. Select appropriate containers for donations and an accessible collection location.  Feel free to decorate the container.


2. Choose collection/drop-off dates and times.


3. Publicize Pack A Purse™ — social media, canvas your neighborhood, post flyers at home, school, or work.  Be sure to acknowledge your collaboration with JaMai and The Teen Toolbox. Project flyers are available.


4. Sort through all donations at the conclusion of the drive — keep new and gently used purses; discard items that are not in good condition


5. Coordinate pick up and/or delivery with Chief Visionary Officer, Nicki Sanders.


* Donations may be mailed to: The Teen Toolbox, LLC, PO Box 6368, Columbia, MD 21045

The last day to donate directly to us will be December 18, 2012Purses will be delivered before Christmas Day.


Nicki Sanders, MSW, Chief Visionary Officer

The Teen Toolbox provides youth portfolio development and civic engagement and academic empowerment strategies to help teens set goals for life after high school and create a road map to reach those goals through its PACKAGED FOR SUCCESS™ Programs.

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