WARREN, NJ - The Woodland School Service Club, run by Mrs. Christina Beekman Brink, is supporting Helping Hearts & Handbags, Inc., an organization based in New Jersey dedicated to the mission of collecting gently used purses, filling them with personal care items and distributing them to homeless women on the streets or in shelters within NJ as well as throughout the country.


The students of the Woodland School Service Club are requesting medium to large gently-used purses and travel size toiletry items such as soap, lotion, shampoo, deodorant, toothbrush/toothpaste, tissue packets, antibacterial wipes/gel, Chap Stick and lip balm.  


Collection of the items will run from January 24, 2019 through February 14, 2019 at Woodland School. The club members have already received over one hundred purses and six large bags of toiletries.  Mrs. Beekman Brink has raised $100 dollars on her own to purchase additional toiletry items. 

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Lisa Smith Wagner, founder of Helping Hearts & Handbags Inc. was inspired by a quote she read from Mother Teresa and decided to do her part to help women in need.


“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” - Mother Teresa.


Wagner and her husband started small by collecting extra toiletry items from hotels they had stayed at while traveling. Wagner enlisted the help of a dear friend (who was battling Huntington’s disease and who needed to keep his brain engaged) to sort the items into individual baggies. Wagner would then distribute the bags to women on the streets or in shelters. 


One day, after years of making and distributing the toiletry baggies, Wagner discovered some old purses that she had in her closet.  Wagner decided that it would be much nicer if the women who received these toiletry items were able to carry them around in a handbag instead of a plastic bag, ergo Helping Hearts & Handbags was created.  


Like the students of Woodland School, you can donate to Helping Hearts & Handbags to help remind a woman in need that there are people in the world that care about her.  For additional information visit www.helpingheartsandhandbags.com or email Lisa@HelpingHeartsandHandbags.com.





Photos courtesy of Warren Township Schools:

1. Top row Jared Barsky, Kayden Thursfield-Ritchie, Laila Morin, bottom Row Natalie Au, Deanna Casador 

2. Lakshmi Nair, Dominick DiBella, Alexa Arpino, Olivia Bello, Samantha Scarinzi, Ayushee Mukhopadhyay, Deanna Casador, Kayden Thursfield-Ritchie, Jared Barsky, Lilla Bellish and Navya Raju.


3. Deanna Casador, Woodland student and Mrs. Beekman Brink - sorting through the toiletries that have been donated.  

4. Olivia Bello and Navya Raju organizing donations.

5. Kayden Thursfield-Ritchie and Lilla Bellish organizing donations.

6. Alexa Arpino and Olivia Bello organize the purse donations.