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Today There Are 10

In doing this purse drive I'm trying to keep up with all that's happened. When I shared it with a friend of mine who has seen the purses flood into the school he said, "You know, this is bigger than you now." That became apparent very quickly because in my mind this really was a small thing. A very small gesture that began with a seed: if I bring in a few of my old purses these girls can have them. It's an oak tree now and includes purses from all over. California, Indiana, New York, Kansas, New Orleans, Connecticut, Michigan, England, and Ireland. Each time my mom picks up the packages at the post office she helps me open them and we read the cards that people enclose and the notes that are inside some of the purses and we are overjoyed each and every time. We smile and hold up the purses, "Look at this one!" and "How cute!" and "Someone is going to LOVE this one!" It is a ritual that hasn't gotten old. We just like to hold them in our hands knowing that some girl is going to happen upon a purse that she just has to have and then take it home with her.

There have been purses dropped off at my school, too, by locals. People I don't know who read about the story in the newspaper and decided to join. A woman, whose two children I taught years ago, who called the school to talk to me and catch me up on how her son and daughter are doing and who shared with me that her mother had graduated from my high school many decades ago. A local church Sunday school group who has taken the project on themselves and gather them together to donate. It's beyond me now. It's bigger than I could have imagined but grassroots-type efforts always seem to do that, don't they?

Last week while my committee girls were selling purses at lunchtime there was a student who came to stand close to me. It's not unusual for her to do that. She's often by herself and is very shy and quiet so we chat about how her weekends were or what kind of homework she's had lately. I never miss a chance to speak with her. She has that look, that needy gaze that tells me she only needs a moment of my time and then she usually trots off someplace else. But she lingered one day and I asked her what she thought of the purse drive. She said it was a good idea and she wishes she could have one. Do you know that feeling of playing Santa Claus when it's not Christmas? I leaned over and whispered to her, "Why don't you pick out your very favorite purse and tell me which one you like best? You can have it. We can make this happen." Again. It was small. It was Santa-y, but still, small. If she herself were a Christmas tree she would have lit up right there on the spot complete with flashing lights and tinsel and sparkles.

Today, in the mail, there were 10 boxes of purses from different people. If there were even one more opportunity to make a girl feel what I read on her face in that moment then I hope I get to see it.

I wish you could see it, too.
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Reader Comments (17)

This is so cool - I'm digging thru all my old purses tomorrow - and sending them to you!!!!!

November 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterShelly Kramer

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Shelly Kramer, Justin Flitter. Justin Flitter said: “Girls, we need your HELP on this: Make Someone Happy With Your Old Purse | | via @mochamomma” -@ShellyKramer [...]

Thank you for posting this. I was wondering if it was too late to send mine. They will be in the mail tomorrow!

November 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFiona

So cool! I got derailed by having to go in the hospital... but I'm out now and I have 4 to send.. I'll put them in the mail this week!! This makes me feel like Santa, too!! I love your heart, girl..

November 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJean

Nice post.

November 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLaoch

Aw...made me get teary. That one makes it ALL worth it, doesn't it?

November 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSuebob

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by mochamomma, Shelley V.. Shelley V. said: U go, Girl!! RT @mochamomma: 'Tis really better to give than to receive. [...]

I have purses to send you in a box here at my feet. I'm hoping on my day off I will have time to finally send them!

November 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersizzle

I sent you two purses. With a note in each one. A note I hoped would reach beyond words. I stood in the post office with tears in my eyes knowing that some child, one child, two.... would have those purses. I give many donations to many causes. Kids, animals, homeless. But there was something about those purses that made me feel like I had really made a difference. And I thank you for that.

November 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMom2trplts

I've definitely got some purses that I could send. Just let me know when to send them. What a great idea!

November 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCRAVEdc

I've definitely got some purses that I could send. Just let me know where to send them. What a great idea!

November 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCRAVEdc

This is just so wonderful!

November 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMeg Evans

I just picked up two more purses at a clothing exchange party this weekend. I'll be sending them your way soon.

November 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAverage Jane

What an awesome thing!

November 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJenni

Can you send me an email to tell me more about this? Would love to help!

November 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermichele

It's an honor to know my little old purses (and one brand new one) are helping. I'm humbled by your efforts to change the lives of the children around you.

November 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMommela

This post makes me bleary-eyed.

November 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

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