Armstrong Purse Project receives ‘overwhelming’ bag donation

Vienna Demontigny (second from left) donates items for her annual Purse Project to Armstrong Food Bank representatives Jennifer Ciccone (from left), MaryAnn Setterstrom and Karen Harrison. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)Vienna Demontigny (second from left) donates items for her annual Purse Project to Armstrong Food Bank representatives Jennifer Ciccone (from left), MaryAnn Setterstrom and Karen Harrison. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Vienna Demontigny (second from left) donates items for her annual Purse Project to Armstrong Food Bank representatives Jennifer Ciccone (from left), MaryAnn Setterstrom and Karen Harrison. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)Vienna Demontigny (second from left) donates items for her annual Purse Project to Armstrong Food Bank representatives Jennifer Ciccone (from left), MaryAnn Setterstrom and Karen Harrison. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Donated items for a woman’s bag in Vienna Demontigny’s annual Purse Project, issued through the Armstrong Food Bank. (Vienna Demontigny photo)Donated items for a woman’s bag in Vienna Demontigny’s annual Purse Project, issued through the Armstrong Food Bank. (Vienna Demontigny photo)
Donated items for a man’s bag in Vienna Demontigny’s annual Purse Project, issued through the Armstrong Food Bank. (Vienna Demontigny photo)Donated items for a man’s bag in Vienna Demontigny’s annual Purse Project, issued through the Armstrong Food Bank. (Vienna Demontigny photo)

Getting things ready for her annual Armstrong Purse Project, Vienna Demontigny received a call at her home.

The caller was inquiring as to whether Demontigny needed some bags for the project.

“Sure,” said Demontigny, who started her project seven years ago where she fills a gift bag with necessities and the Armstrong Food Bank gives them out to needy people.

Demontigny was overwhelmed when the caller dropped off 50 bags.

“I nearly cried,” she said. “It was overwhelming. And they’re beautiful purses that can be re-used.”

The bags were handmade with a colourful design on front and a pull string so the bag can be repurposed.

Her project started for women only. But Demontigny pointed out that there are 40 bags for women this year, and 10 for men.

The bags include items like an Askew’s gift card, gum, comb, notepad, pen, mouthwash, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, gloves, toque, deodorant, hand cream, lip balm, emery boards, Kleenex, eye liner, lip liner, nail clippers, dental floss and soap.

Demontigny buys a lot of the items herself but this year, the community came to her aid.

“I want to thank all of those who donated items for the bags,” she said.

In a 2017 interview with the Morning Star, Demontigny says the project was born out of one simple fact.

“I just thought it would be nice for these women to have something to open at Christmas,” she said. “Everybody’s about the kids (at Christmas) and the mothers often get left behind, so I thought, you know, women need stuff too.”

The hampers are distributed through the Armstrong Food Bank when people come in to pick up their Christmas hampers in December.

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roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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