UPDATE: Valley ladies collecting Handbags of Hope for WVa. flood victims

Published: Aug. 20, 2016 at 8:53 PM EDT
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UPDATE (Aug. 21):

By Matthew Fultz

"I'm overwhelmed. I mean you look at this number of purses, it's overwhelming," said Margii Jones.

That's Margi Jones' reaction as she looked at how many purses have been donated by lodge members organizations in the community.

"One church donated 16 filled handbags ready to go. One office at UVA heard about it and donated 10 filled bags, said Jones.

Jones and ladies at the Elks Lodge in Waynesboro came up with the idea of sending the handbags filled with supplies, after the lodge sent supplies to the West Virginia flood victims earlier this summer.

So far Jones said they have 83 bags.

Each bag includes different things such as hairbrushes and makeup accessories. But they also include a personal note from each person donating a bag.

Each note has an uplifting message that will help boost the spirits of each lady receiving a bag.

Bobbye Kimbrough is one of the women from the lodge who donated a purse.

She said she went through the aftermath of hurricane Katrina and knows what it feels like to have that empty hole missing in your life.

"They have nothing to add to their dignity when everything is just swept away and this gives them a little bit of hope that tomorrow is going to be just a little bit better, Kimbrough said.

Jones said some of the bags will go to West Virginia for women who are in shelters and some will go to the women displaced by the Louisiana floods, as well as Baton Rouge.

Jones said they plan to deliver the bags to Richwood, West Virginia on Tuesday.

If you like to donate, you can drop off bags at the lodge, located at 1700 Harvard Road in Waynesboro, Va.


Their phone number is 540-942-9108.



By Terry Ward

The Elks lodge in Waynesboro has been sending disaster relief supplies to the West Virginia flood zone. The lodge's ladies recently decided to fill handbags with supplies of special use to women, and to include personal notes of encouragement.

Almost 80 purses with supplies and uplifting messages have been gathered-up so far from lodge members and their community acquaintances. Elks members plan to deliver the bags to Richwood, WVa., on Tuesday, Aug. 23. That area's only grocery store was wrecked and supplies at their area food bank are running low, according to an Elks statement.

The lodge will continue collecting Handbags of Hope after the initial delivery date. If they obtain a surplus, they plan to give the extra Handbags of Hope to shelters for abused women or to otherwise assist women dealing with extreme situations.

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) Waynesboro Lodge #2270 is located at 1700 Harvard Road in Waynesboro, Va.


Their meetings are on each month's first and third Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. Their phone number is 540-942-9108.

Past organizers of disaster relief supplies drives have said the best supplies to donate are:

- Bottled fluids (water, Gatorade)

- "Space" blankets (Mylar camping blankets)

- Food, ready-to-eat, packaged (cereal bars, Pop Tarts, nuts)

- Food, ready-to-eat, in pop-lid cans (ravioli, Treet, etc.)

- Bleach

- Hand sanitizer

- Cleaning wipes

- Peroxide

- Trash bags

- Work gloves

- Tarps

- Mosquito repellent

- Extension cords

- Flashlights (+ extra batteries)

- Toilet paper

- Feminine products

- Baby supplies

- Duct tape

- Personal grooming items

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