Power of the Purse
The Marana chapter of Tucson Mothers & More – Laura Coody, Jennifer Folino and Crystal Mansell – know the power of the purse to draw attention to mothers in the community who face financial risk on a daily basis. Locally, residents can donate their new or gently used purses at participating businesses or on May 1 at a special purse collection party at Continental Ranch Community Center. courtesy photo

Sure, women love purses. Giant hobo bags, sassy satchels, classic clutches – they have the power to perk up any outfit.

But Marana moms are hoping something as simple as a purse can also encourage a woman to use the power of the purse more purposefully.

This Mother’s Day, Tucson Mothers & More is sponsoring Power of a Purse to activate mothers’ thinking about their life-long financial health.

During this campaign, Mothers & More raises members’ and community awareness about key social and economic issues that affect mothers’ lives and well-being. 

“We believe that a purse is symbolic of a woman’s economic power, but it is also a practical everyday item that can help her feel put together,” says Jennifer Folino, a member of the Tucson Mothers & More Marana chapter. “A mother has power in her purse when she has money of her own to act on household decisions, and to provide for herself and her children. Power of a Purse draws attention to mothers in this community who face financial risk day-to-day.”

More than an accessory, a purse and its contents reflect the many roles and responsibilities mothers shoulder every day. Many families rely on the income mothers contribute to essential expenses like food, shelter, clothing, health care and education. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, moms serve as the primary or co-breadwinners in 63 percent of U.S. families with children under age 18. 

The White House “Women in America” report, issued in March 2011, shows that women’s earnings reflect a growing share of household income across all family types over the past 20 years.

Tucson Mothers & More is seeking donations of new or like-new purses for the 70-plus women who receive support services from New Beginnings for Women & Children. 

“New Beginnings’ mission is right in line with ours,” says chapter leader Crystal Mansell. “We work to provide financial education to help women get back on their feet.”

Purses don’t have to be brand new or particularly fancy to be useful.

“If it is something you would use, we’ll take it,” says Mansell. “Everything from clutches to suitcase bags.”

This is the first year the newly formed Marana chapter will participate in the nationwide event, which last year collected more than 10,000 purses for mothers receiving aid from social service organizations across the country.

The Marana moms hope to also fill the handbags with purse-sized toiletries and other items that women commonly need. These include hand lotion, hand sanitizer, lip balm, tissues, hairspray, pen, breath mints, gum, compact mirror, hair brushes and eye drops.

“We had some businesses that were going to donate but had to cancel, so now we’re backpedaling,” says Mansell. “We’d like to be Santa Claus and gift the women with the items they need.”

Business owners wishing to donate services or items can contact Mansell at (850) 227-4120 or e-mail MomsNeedMore@gmail.com.

Mothers & More is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of mothers through support, education, and advocacy. The Marana chapter meets once a month for business and twice a month for social activities, such as bowling, ceramics and a mom’s night out.

For more information about Tucson Mothers & More, visit www.tucsonmothersandmore.com or www.facebook.com/tucsonmothersandmore.

Purse Drop-Off Sites

Canyon Community Bank, 8631 N. Silverbell Road; Chrome Salon, 4444 E. Grant Road, Suite 108; Rock ‘n Babies Upscale Resale, 3951 W. Ina Road, Suite123; Sweet Repeats Children’s Resale Boutique, 7936 N. Oracle Road; Tompkins Family Chiropractic, 7620 N. Hartman Lane, Suite 124-2; Twin Peaks Pre-School, 7995 W. Twin Peaks Road; Walgreens, 7800 N. Cortaro Road; and Walgreens; 9250 N. Coachline Blvd.

Drop-off deadline: May 4

For more information, call Crystal Mansell at (850) 227-4120 or email MomsNeedMore@gmail.com.

If you go

What: Tucson Mothers & More Purse Collection Party

When: May 1, 1-5 p.m.

Where: Continental Ranch Community Center, 8881 N. Coachline Blvd.

Admission: Free

Details: For every purse donated, up to four, donors will receive a $5 credit to be applied toward a Miche Bag purchase. For more information about Miche Bag, go to http://my.michebag.com/kelsey_peterson.

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