My 100-acre dream includes a Foster Youth Resource Center where Pack A Purse™ Drive and Pack A Backpack™ Drive donations can be collected and distributed year-round. In addition to connecting youth and young adults who are at risk of aging out of foster care or have aged out of foster care with community resources, we will also provide temporary housing for college students when their campus is closed. What about 2021?
This year has brought us false fits and starts, good news, and infection spikes – we still have not returned to business as usual. We are all adjusting to our new normal. Though there have been many reopenings, I am unwilling to accept the liability in coordinating the regular Pack A Purse™ Drive and Purse Packing Party in the midst of a continued global health pandemic. Despite precautions such as wearing masks, mandating six feet distance, and offering hand sanitizer, I am uncomfortable with the potential risks associated with gathering a group of people inside a closed room to sort used donations during regular cold and flu season. I also will not gather us outside in the December cold. We are in the same place we were in for the 2020 Pack A Purse™ Drive last year.
The 2021 Purse Packing Party is officially CANCELLED. I understand that other humanitarians, businesses, and groups are continuing with business as usual or making slight adjustments to minimize risk. I have considered different options for months and this is my final decision – eliminate not reduce the risks. I know my individual limitations and will honor my individual needs.
We can still support youth in foster care!
- Sponsor an agency – Purchase new donations then visit the agency website and follow their procedures for making/delivering donations directly to the selected agency.
- Host a shower – Follow the baby shower format with your close friends and family if you are comfortable hosting small gatherings and deliver directly to the selected agency.
- Become an Ambassador – Collect NEW purses, backpacks, and toiletries from friends and family and deliver directly to the selected organization.
- Make a financial donation – You can donate to the Pack A Purse™ Drive through Paypal and I will purchase and deliver NEW items. I will not be accepting or delivering used donations this year.
There are 10 agencies that we support annually for both the Pack A Backpack™ Drive and the Pack A Purse™ Drive and I hope we can support them again this year. Many agencies are no longer accepting used donations. Please DO NOT collect and distribute any used donations in the name of our Annual Pack A Purse™ Drive.
I am available to support and assist with information, strategy, and problem-solving. Feel free to contact me with questions related to execution. I will be purchasing new items and making deliveries as well.
If you choose to follow my recommendations and get involved in new ways this year, the Pack A Purse™ Drive will be open from November 1, 2021 – December 4, 2021.
The 2021 goal is 100 filled purses and bags:
- Feminine Hygiene items (individually wrapped)
- New purses, backpacks, and tote bags
Foster Homes, Group Homes, and Homeless Shelters
It is my hope that each of our 10 agencies will receive at least 10 filled purses for a total. The 10 agencies we will support are:
- Family and Youth Initiative
- BEST Kids
- Hearts & Homes for Youth
- Sasha Bruce Youthwork
- Prince George’s County Department of Social Services Independent Living Program
- WIN Family Services
- National Center for Children and Families
- Covenant House Washington
- Howard County Department of Social Services
Thank you for years of support!! Stay safe!
Nicki Sanders, MSW, CEO, is a Career and Empowerment Strategist who helps high-performing women of color in management go from overworked, underpaid, and unappreciated to energized, well paid, and appreciated. Through Nicki Sanders Leadership Consulting, she also helps businesses recruit, hire, train, and retain great employees. Nicki has an extensive background in developing and managing successful programs and leading high-functioning multi-disciplinary teams. She is an accomplished professor, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has combined her gift for authentic relationships, Master of Social Work degree, and over 20 years of diverse work experience to create a life she loves. Nicki is a lover of cupcakes, travel, and 80’s hip hop and R&B music.
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