What is the Texas Advocacy Project “Handbags for Hope”?
Handbags for Hope through the Texas Advocacy Project in Austin, TX, aims to help victims of domestic violence. The Texas Advocacy Project has had the assistance of The Allstate Foundation and the Travis County SheriffÃs Office, in collecting new and gently used handbags with the goal of “putting life-saving information in the hands of the victims” by having tags with the number for the Texas Advocacy Project’s toll-free domestic violence hotline (1-800-374-HOPE) and pamphlets detailing ways to get and stay safe inside the bags. According to a member of the Board of Directors, ” We know that a woman in a violent situation is more likely to get out of an abusive relationship and stay out if she has access to legal services. It has continued to grow each year.”
The handbags will be given to the women by their children as gifts on Mother’s Day.
How did I learn about this project in Austin, TX? A few days ago I took my two year old to daycare and as I was leaving the school, I passed the front desk, said hello to a parent and walked out the door. Then I stopped. I literally walked backwards, back into the school and to the front desk where I saw a single sheet of paper, with a small logo at the top and a typed letter. It did not stand out to me, papers and flyers at the front desk are not out of the ordinary, I am not sure what caused me to go back in and pick up this letter and then not only take it with me, but sit in my car at daycare and read the entire letter. It touched my heart and immediately I jumped into crisis mode and started figuring out how I could help. What could I do?
The letter was from a Vicki Black and this is what she wrote:
” I, Vicki Black, am working to collect as many purses as possible before April 4th, 2011. Why am I doing this? Long story short, I have someone dear to my heart that was a victim of domestic violence.
That person had to flee her home with her 3 children during the last attack. Her husband made it clear that no one would be leaving the house ever again. With God by her side she was able to escape with nothing but her purse and kids. After many years of legal battles and finding her husband had taken all their money and assets, her battle ended only because the husband committed suicide. She now lives with her new husband whom she met years later in Austin. Her kids are all grown. Her oldest son has started a family of his own, her middle son is at college on scholarship for soccer and her youngest daughter goes to college and is modeling. She has her own interior decorating company and volunteers all her free time to The Texas Advocacy Project. She is a survivor story. Most stories do not have this happy ending. “
I thought about Vicki Black and her loved one the whole way to my office that morning. I wanted to help. I have purses. I can donate. What else can I do? I called Vicki. I told her that I would like to reach out to our local community to help her loved one’s community through The Texas Advocacy Project. She loved it and gave me permission to publish her story. Vicki is collecting the purses here and will be delivering them to Austin. She also told me that she was hoping that she could collect enough purses that maybe they would open a local chapter here in Dallas – Ft. Worth. That is amazing!
What can you do? All you have to do is call Vicki, 940-498-0174 to arrange drop-off or pick-up of your new or gently used purses, and she will do the rest of the work. Or you can email me, firstname.lastname@example.org and I can also get you in touch with Vicki. It’s that easy. Let’s do this!
Don't have a handbag to donate? There are many ways to help make this campaign successful. Please support us in delivering these handbags to the people who need them most by sponsoring a UPS shipment.
Contact Rebecca Bales at email@example.com, or 512.225.9594 for more information.