Armstrong food bank volunteers Fran and Allan Brooks (left) and manager Elizabeth Coss (right) will be able to hand out 45 women’s purse care packages thanks to Vienna Demontigny and her donation to those in need.

Armstrong food bank volunteers Fran and Allan Brooks (left) and manager Elizabeth Coss (right) will be able to hand out 45 women’s purse care packages thanks to Vienna Demontigny and her donation to those in need.

Purses offer pampering

Vienna Demontigny wanted to make sure there is something for the women using the Armstrong Food Bank

Some North Okanagan women who are struggling to make ends meet are getting a bit of glam this holiday season.

Vienna Demontigny wanted to make sure there was something a little extra special for the women using the Armstrong Food Bank.

So she put a plea out for donations of items you might find in a woman’s purse and put together 45 care packages, all wrapped up in little gift bag purses, and full of pampering goodies. Everything from hand creams to lip gloss and even $20 Askews gift cards (donated from the Armstrong Kin Club) make up the bags.

“We’re all concentrating on the kids and teens but there’s an awful lot of single moms out there who don’t have anything,” said Elizabeth Coss, food bank manager.

As a woman, she knows how even little things like toiletries can add up, so this will make for a merry Christmas for a lot of ladies who may not have been able to afford the goodies.

“I didn’t expect so many donations,” said Demontigny, who spent an afternoon with a group of ladies putting the purses together. “It was fun.”

Thanks to the community’s support, the initiative has grown substantially since Demontigny started in 2015.

“I did only two last year,” said Demontigny, who bought out the whole dollar store of their purse-shaped gift bags this year. “And then I decided to do more when Elizabeth told me there was something like 118 families that had applied for food hampers last year.”

This year the numbers are up even higher to between 120 to 125 hampers needed.

But donations have been helping, including sponsored hampers like the one Demontigny brought in for the Armstrong Kin Club (which she is also involved with).