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7's Hero: Boise woman starts effort to stuff handbags with basic necessities for women at Treasure Valley shelters

Launee Wolverton was inspired to give back to women in need in the community, and the effort is catching on as hundreds of bags have been donated.

BOISE, Idaho — Launee Wolverton of Boise came up with a way to give back to struggling women in the Treasure Valley community. A year ago, she started Purses with a Purpose Fundraiser. 

“I just one day woke up and I thought I need to do this,” Wolverton recalled. “It's just something that was put on my heart. I put it out on Facebook to ask women if they have a gently used purse, shampoo, razors, feminine products, just anything. Toothbrushes, toothpaste, hats, gloves scarves.”

Since then, donations have been rolling in. 

“Honestly it's like Christmas on my front doorstep every day,” she said about the influx of donations. “I come home and I have at least one donation, if not many more.”

Wolverton is a local realtor and loves to sell homes. But, she said this charity project gives her so much joy and she couldn’t do it without her friends and volunteers. 

“I have a few ladies that help me pack purses, and then I take them and donate them to about ten shelters, homeless and battered women shelters in the valley,” Wolverton told KTVB. 

There were a few months during the pandemic when shelters weren't accepting donations, but now Wolverton is back at it again.

“In May I started it back up again, and this month I delivered 128 purses, and they are all packed with love,” she said. “When I drop them off, it just warms my heart because these women are so thankful, they are so thankful. Especially during these times.”

Wolverton told KTVB that some major donations have also come in from the Treasure Valley's generous community. 

“The Boise Diaper Bank reached out to me and said hey we have a couple of pallets of feminine products we would love to donate if you want them. I was like, 'Oh my goodness that is so awesome,'” Wolverton said. “I have groups that say, 'We want to as a group donate items to you.' Now, I also have women that are making face masks that I can put in these bags, too.”

She said this is something simple and wonderful she can do to give back to women in need. 

“You know, honestly, I can't say it enough, it blesses me to bless other women,” Wolverton said. “I grew up poor so I know what it's like to not have those things and I'm so grateful I can do it.”

Do you have a purse to donate? Maybe you want to donate items to put in these Purses with a Purpose? Launee would love to hear from you. 

You can email her at launeewolverton@gmail.com or call 208-391-9395.

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