H-F Students Help Women in Need


(From left to right) Sophia, Madyson, and Xiiyaire showing their receipt of necessities from Dollar Tree

Veronica Hamaguchi, Assistant News Editor

The COVID-19 pandemic has left many women-especially those living in poverty-jobless, evicted, and/or without child care. H-F students Sophia Hall, Madyson Keelen and Xiiyaire Pulliam have stepped up to help.

According to a survey conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Oct. 2021, 34% of families with young children are facing serious problems finding child care when adults need to work.

When asked how they helped, Hall said, “We ask for purses and, with the money we raised on our GoFundMe page, Madyson, Xiiyaire and I go to the store and buy necessities like toothpaste, toothbrush, pads, etc. and then we donate to the shelters.”

The “shelters” Hall mentions are, according to their GoFundMe page Purse for a Purpose Fundraiser, “high demand organizations such as homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, substance use treatment centers, and hospital emergency rooms.”

Keelan also mentioned the reason they chose the cause that they did, specifically, is because it is a cause that isn’t as supported or focused on as other causes.

“We chose this cause because not a lot of people support that…And there’s nothing wrong with that, we just wanted to do something different and out of the ordinary,” Keelan said.

These students give the women the purses they collect filled with the necessities to the women in these shelters.  This organization called Purse for a Purpose was started in Sept. 2021.

However, instead of being started because of the rise in unemployment and eviction during the pandemic, Purse for a Purpose was started because the problems women in need face have been highlighted during the pandemic.

Hall said, “I think being in quarantine made us realize how good we had it and that other people never had it as good as us.”

The students running this organization acknowledge that they cannot stop homelessness as a whole, so instead their focus is on making the women they help happy.

Their main goal is “to boost self-confidence and just make them feel better and to know that they have someone in the world that, you know, cares about them,” Keelen said.

Hall adds that, “my friends and I recognize that there [are] a lot of homeless people in this world and we know that there is nothing we can do to stop it so instead we wanted to cheer them up and just wanted to let them know that there is hope.”

They have definitely made an impact on their community.  Since Sept., they have been dropping off their purses filled with goods weekly, with each “batch” containing significant amounts of purses, such as their 50 last weekend or the 20 they plan to donate this weekend.

To help Purse for a Purpose, you can follow their Instagram @pursefora_purpose, if you have questions, email them at [email protected] and, if you want to help their cause, donate to their GoFundMe Purse for a Purpose Fundraiser.

A flyer for Purse for a Purpose detailing their information