Karen and Walter Monteiro
Karen and Walter Monteiro

Karen and Walter Monteiro and their team at Coldwell Banker Maximum Results in Cambridge, Ont. has created an organization called Handbags for Hope, which collects gently used purses, fills them with new toiletries and donates them to women’s shelters.

The charity asks for donations of personal hygiene, feminine and beauty products to add to the recycled purses.

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So far this year, the group has collected about 200 purses. They donated them the Cambridge Shelter Corporation, YWCA Kitchener/Waterloo, Argus House, Marillac Place, oneROOF, Monica Place and Drop in Centre Guelph.

Karen Monteiro told Cambridgetimes.ca, “I wanted to figure out something different that people aren’t doing around the area.”  She heard about a charity in Australia that collected and donated basic need products and beauty items for women and delivered them in purses.

“There’s obviously a real need for this,” Monteiro says. It’s also an easy idea to support because “almost everybody has a purse in their closet that they don’t want anymore,” she says.


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