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Purses with a Purpose returns for second year to Michigan State Police posts

Items collected will be distributed to survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.
Items collected will be distributed to survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.
Published: Mar. 28, 2022 at 7:26 AM EDT|Updated: Mar. 28, 2022 at 11:25 AM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The Michigan State Police are accepting donations of new or gently used purses to help sexual assault survivors for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

The campaign is called ‘Purses with A Purpose’ which is going into its second year. Here’s how you can help:

  • Bring your new or used purses filled with comfort items like snacks, hygiene products, and clothing to the State Police office in Brighton or Howell.
  • Those items will then be distributed to survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.

Related: New proposal would make it easier for sexual assault victims to come forward in Michigan

The campaign came from Trooper Andrea Tillman of the Cadillac Post was brainstorming a community service effort for her post’s area.

“In our line of work, we see people leaving horrible situations all the time, and sometimes they can’t even grab necessities like a toothbrush or clean socks,” said Trooper Tillman, assigned to the Cadillac Post. “I saw something online and tweaked the idea to fit our need. That’s how we started Purses with a Purpose.”

In its initial year, over 500 purses were collected, leading Tillman, along with friend and co-worker Trooper Cabria Shirley, to make it an annual thing.

“Our purpose is to make an impact as women of the Michigan State Police,” said Chelsea Deckler, Chairperson, Women Leading Change ERG. “This effort is women, and men in the department too, helping women in the communities we serve, which is fitting as we reflect on Women’s History Month during March.”

Michigan State Police is accepting donations through the entire month of April. For a full list of posts that are taking donations, click here.

Details on collection locations will be added throughout April as they are scheduled. Currently, the Lansing post is included while details on the Jackson post’s participation is yet to be determined.

More: Bipartisan bill would extend statute of limitations on sexual assault cases in Michigan

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