'Women helping Women': Shelter House to raise funds with Purses with a Purpose

purses with a purpose

Women shopping around the 2012 Purses with a Purpose to benefit Shelter House.

Special to The Sun
Published: Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 04:24 PM.


Shelter House Executive Director Michelle Sperzel created the Purses with a Purpose event on a very productive run.

"We had just received a large purse donation that was brought to the emergency shelter, and it just lifted the confidence of the women," she said. "I thought, how can I take that idea and continue to rebuild confidence?"

And so in 2009, Shelter House presented its first Purses with a Purpose fundraiser, which has now become a signature event.

The fun begins on Friday, March 22 at Silver Sands Premium Outlets at from 6 to 8 p.m. and continues to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can browse through and purchase new and gently used purses, which are donated from local stores and individual donors. The event will also include a silent auction, wine and food courtesy of Carrabba's.

"The underlying message is about building yours and another woman's self-confidence," Sperzel said. "It is an event about women helping women."

The purses are also symbolic, Sperzel said, because often women show up to the emergency shelter with no other possession, but a handbag.

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