The princess and the purse campaign: feeling good by giving

The Princess and the Purse sounds like the title to a magical story, doesn’t it? At the very least, for me, it evokes ideas of riches and beautiful things and gives me a warm feeling inside. I believe this was the feeling that Lorraine Cormier wanted to share with struggling mothers from her community. She understood that many women live on limited means and are used to going without special gifts because their first priority is always to take care of and provide for their children. This was the reason why Lorraine started this wonderful campaign 7 years ago in the Greater Moncton area; as a way to make mothers feel like a princess during the holidays through the gift of a lovely purse filled with treats.

For the last three years, the PSAC Greater Moncton Regional Women’s Committee have supported this organization and plan to do so again this year. We collect new or gently used purses and new personal items such as hair brushes, perfume, jewelry, scarves and mittens, lipstick, hand lotion, and more! Some of our members then help with the packing of the purses. Once the purses are packed full of treats, they are shipped to various local not-for-profit organizations for distribution just in time for the holidays. As the years go by, this amazing campaign gets bigger and bigger and has even spread to various places in North America, including Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Manitoba, Alberta, Florida, California and New York! And on the receiving end, the more than 10,000 women that have received a purse through this campaign have also been deeply touched. Many have commented on how moved they were that people they didn’t even know gave them such a lovely gift.

Last year, despite very tight COVID-19 restrictions in the Greater Moncton Area the Princess and the Purse group of volunteers still managed to collect and pack 500 purses. On top of helping with collecting and then packing purses, Heather Fraser, previous Chair of the PSAC Greater Moncton Regional Women’s Committee, personally delivered 75 purses at the YWCA Moncton office to be delivered to their various program participants (see picture). What a special treat for all! Heather loves helping out wherever and whenever she can. She has a big heart and a giving nature which were reflected in everything that she did in our committee. She has been a great leader and has worked tirelessly to help women and children in our local communities. Just recently retired from her work at the City of Moncton (CHEA 60200) as the Natural Resources Program Coordinator (Coordinatrice de programmes en aménagement forestier), she vows to continue to help people in her community and support our committee’s activities and we are all so grateful for it! 

Krystine Nadeau (GSU 60018)

Chair of the PSAC Greater Moncton Regional Women’s Committee