Brenda Zsiros (front)with some of the 54 purses she collected for Youth Services. With her are (from left) Youth Services Director Loretta Hill-Finamore, Norma Joaquim and Sheena Barnett.




Purses for Margaret triggers acts of kindness toward women throughout the city

A campaign begun by a local writer has struck a chord in the community. Denise Davy, who helped supply Good Shepherd Women’s Services with feminine hygiene products, started a movement that spread across our region. Her initiative, which she named Purses for Margaret as a tribute to a homeless woman she met as a reporter, collected handbags filled with toiletries, hygiene products and cosmetics.

After word of Denise’s initiative spread, Good Shepherd started receiving donations of purses filled with necessities for women.

Numerous groups and individuals took up the challenge, including Whitney McMeekin, owner of Girl on the Wing, and her friend Rachelle who donated “Femnecessity” gift packages filled with personal care items to clients at Women’s Services.

Purses for Margaret began with Women’s Services and soon other Good Shepherd programs began to benefit.

At Good Shepherd, co-workers also got into the spirit. Brenda Zsiros, a property manager, said she was inspired by Purses for Margaret to help young women at Youth Services.

“It touched my heart and I came to work the next day and challenged my co-workers to donate a purse for Youth Services filled with hygiene products, tooth paste, hair brushes, gloves – anything that a young woman could use,” she says. “Then I challenged family and friends to do the same. My goal was 20. I collected 54 plus two boxes filled with razors, soaps, shampoo and hair conditioner.”

It shows how one person’s kindness can motivate an entire city.