It all started with a simple Facebook post by a local woman, little did she know how overwhelming the response to it would be.
“I just moved into my house, I was unpacking boxes and I had literally a stack of extra tote bags,” Ann Rushlo said.
Too many bags– but this inspired Ann Rushlo and friend Jen Krohn to start a donation drive. They set a simple goal of 25 tote bags but the response has been overwhelming.
“I work at MVCC I have people leaving bags in my office at work already and it just launched several days ago,” Rushlo said.
The bags will eventually be filled with regular everyday items. But Ann felt strongly about where she wanted those bags to end up.
“We decided to give them to women in local shelters because we felt like that might be an area people don’t tend to give to during the holiday,” Rushlo said.
YWCA Executive Director Dianne Stancato says most of the women that come into the shelters have left everything behind.
“Imagine if you just all of the sudden woke up in a place where you needed a toothbrush, I mean yes, of course, we supply them a toothbrush but we do the basics because that’s all that we can do. This allows women to have their own things.”
The bags include anything from toothpaste to journals, Ann and Jen wanted to make sure the women got essential everyday items as well as more personal things to help them cope.
“They would receive this on their way in the door, so here’s a beautiful tote bag for you, filled with things that are yours. Imagine how special that would make someone feel in a really critical tough part of their life.”
Rushlo says so far, the biggest single donor has been visions hotels giving items like shampoo, soap, and toothpaste.
Several other hotel groups in the area have also committed to donating. The deadline to donate is December 15th.
You can visit the Carry On! Facebook page to see how you can help the cause.