By Sue Wambolt, Contributing Writer
Westborough – Westborough resident Nancy Wraight grew up in a large family – one of eight children – with a modest income. The family received food from government programs, wore hand-me-down clothes and made their own syrup from corn starch. Despite their lack of material goods, Wraight’s mother, Peggy Szostak, taught her children to have gratitude for what they had and to give to those in need. It is this spirit that prompted to Wraight to partner with Westborough Library Director Maureen Ambrosino and spearhead the Purse Project.
The Purse Project focuses on collecting used purses to distribute to women in need. Once collected, the purses will be filled with new, donated items such as hairbrushes, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, lip balm, nail polish, suntan lotion, sunglasses, shampoo, conditioner and lotion. If donations allow, modest gift cards to department stores, restaurants, gas stations and grocery stores will also be included.
“The goal of the Purse Project is to help others by providing small necessities and to brighten the day for people who might be going through a difficult time. It not only benefits the people receiving the purses, but also the people donating them,” said Wraight. “It is such a feel-good project that leads to smiles for all involved.”
Once the purses are filled, they will be delivered to local organizations such as the Westborough Food Pantry, Westborough Youth & Family Services, and local churches. If enough purses are received, donations will be distributed to Dress for Success, shelters in Worcester and hospital pediatric units for new mothers.
“Being involved in this project is really special,” said Ambrosino. “Growing up, I was a Girl Scout, and everything we did was focused on helping others in some way. I learned at a young age how great you feel when you help others, and what a difference you can make. I want the women who receive the purses to know that other women out there are thinking of them and supporting them, and that they’re not forgotten.”
Purse donations, as well as items to go inside the purses, can be dropped off at the Westborough Public Library, 55 W. Main St., during library hours. There is a bin for donations located near the photocopier on the main floor.