Purses for disaster victims

Sandy McCollom, at left, and Dinah Wicker unload donated purses at the Austin Disaster Relief Network for Hurricane Dorian victims.

A post was placed on “Next Door Holiday Beach” two weeks after Hurricane Harvey devastated Aransas County. It let women in the area know about a kind gesture originating from Dallas.

“The person who posted was Cathy Coleman and she wanted the community to know people out there care about us,” said Holiday Beach resident Sandy McCollom.

The post said, “400 Purses being delivered tomorrow from Dallas area Bethel Baptist Church to Rockport, TX, for the women of Rockport. The purses have personal items inside. Go get your purse!”

McCollom said it was an inspirational moment for a lot of women in the Rockport area.

“A few of us from Holiday Beach and Lamar thought this was a tradition that should continue. We decided we would do the same for victims of Hurricane Dorian (in Florida and the Bahamas),” she said.

Susie Roberts, Dinah Wicker, Ruth Schmidt, a woman from Marble Falls and McCollom met at McCollom’s home and prepared and sent 100 purses to women who were victims of Hurricane Dorian.

“The beautiful purses were donated by many women in the area and were filled with items like essential toiletries for hygiene, brushes and combs, a small planner and pen, hand sanitizer/antibacterial wipes and a small makeup bag,” said McCollom.

The purses were collected in Rockport, Fulton, Lamar, Holiday Beach, and Port Aransas (Sue Miller collected the purses in Port Aransas). The toiletries placed inside each purse were donated by many of the same women who donated the purses.

“Whatever was needed to fill the gaps in supplies was purchased with donations from a handful of donors,” said McCollom.

The local women spent many hours sorting and preparing the items to go into the purses.

As the project got underway, more purses and toiletries were donated and they continued to pour in.

“After finishing the 100 purses for Florida, we still had enough purses and supplies to provide the same to people in southeast Texas affected by Tropical Storm Imelda,” said McCollom.

Included in that shipment, which is being delivered to Winnie, TX, this weekend, are 120 purses and family bags with full size toiletries and hygiene kits for men, women, and children.

“The outpouring of kindness and mutual understanding is definitely strong in the Rockport/Fulton area,” said McCollom. “I can’t say enough positive things about the women I have met during this campaign. The love for others who are suffering is definitely strong. We all remember Hurricane Harvey and the destruction we had to endure.”

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