Judy Crockett

Judy Crockett
Judy Crockett

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Manistee Effort to Collect Purses for Women in Shelters Spreads - Northern Michigan's News Leader

Manistee Effort to Collect Purses for Women in Shelters Spreads - Northern Michigan's News Leader

I love what this effort has morphed into across the state of Michigan. Women are good to other women. Women do care for other women. Women are generous with other women. The idea of filling a good purse with lovely personal items to make another woman feel special and loved has touched the hearts of those who give...and those who receive. Watch for more information on the project's Face Book  site  Christmas Carol Purse Project.

My heart is warmed by how this simple idea has moved so many to compassion.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Bringing Out The Best in Women Working With Women...Women Who Can Get it Done!

It started with an idea hatched during a semi-sleepless night. In three short weeks, it has grown into a brand. The Christmas Carol Purse Project was to provide about a dozen new or gently used purses, filled with lovely things a woman would love for Christmas, to a local Manistee area domestic violence shelter for distribution at Christmas.

As I write this, there are five local projects, reaching eight or more Michigan counties, with a total of nearly 700 beautifully wrapped and ready for gifting purses filled with scarves, lotions, personal care items, books, tea, chocolate, gloves, hats, jewelry, and so much more. That number continues to grow.

Carol Atkins was a powerhouse of a woman who spent her entire adult life fighting for women's rights - human rights to be sure. She was an author, a poet, a playwright, an activist, a wife, a mother, a friend.  Late in her life, she was inducted into the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame. She was a co-founder of CHOICE of Manistee, a domestic violence shelter in Manistee.

Kathy Lightbody, Brand Communications Director
 at Automotive News, Crain Communications in Detroit
delivers a load of purses donated to the Purse Project. Over
700 purses have been collected statewide in Michigan.
So it was natural to me to want to name this project after Carol when this idea hatched one night in late November. Carol inspired me in life - and she continues to influence me in the years since she passed from this life. When I met Carol in 2002, she was tiny, soft spoken, with fiery eyes, wit, a knowing smile, and a sharp mind. She fought long and hard in the early days for rights for women. I loved to listen to her, learn from her, and be present with her just to feel the strength her tiny frame could not contain. Carol would be proud to watch this project grow as women around the state and beyond are giving generously to help other women in need...continuing her tradition of caring for other women.

Learn more about the Christmas Carol Purse Project on Face Book. Next year, we will have a website and branded materials to help grow this exciting project in any community interested in coordinating. We are adding a project for men, too as we will begin collecting shaving kits for men for Christmas 2016.

We see a lot of pain on television and read many sad stories in the press. We hear about women unable to get along with other women. Here is a story that will warm your heart and reaffirm the generosity of Americans and the true spirit of women working together. Merry Christmas everyone...and hats off to you, Carol. You continue to inspire me. And to the many, many women working to make this such a awesome project: You have renewed my spirit and filled my heart!