One bag can change a life

YWCA Our Voice

I have always loved carrying a purse around wherever I go. I remember the first bag I got in elementary school was hot pink with the initial “M” on it. Having your initials on everything was very popular when I was a kid.

I’m not sure who gave it to me but I will definitely never forget it because of how much I loved it.

Accessories can be very meaningful if they were given to us by a loved one or they have a special meaning behind them. Our volunteers sew bags weekly that carry the story of a survivor, not just your phone and car keys.

Creations of Courage, formerly known as Heavenly Handbags, are unique bags for purchase that support Wise Options and Liberty House at the YWCA Northcentral PA.

For over a decade our volunteers have spent countless hours crafting key wristlets, wallets, tote bags and more to benefit our clients. Their passion for our mission is what has kept them sewing for so long on a weekly basis.

“I think we all have an obligation to give back and do things for the community and help in ways that use our talents,” said Linda Boose, volunteer and creator of Creations of Courage.

Each bag has the potential to change a life. Every day survivors come to us to help them through a crisis situation involving domestic violence, homelessness or sexual assault. Our staff are here 24/7 to ensure anybody in need can receive help.

To send our message of hope goes home with every customer, our bags have stories of former clients who were courageous in facing their issues head on. Sharing their stories gives you a glimpse at the power one purse has to make a massive impact on another person’s life.

You can purchase Creations of Courage in The Boutique at the YWCA, 815 W. Fourth St., during store hours: 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays; and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.

We will be at events all summer long as well as in local stores. We are currently in Patniaz, 38 W. Fourth St., and will be on the second floor of Rust and Shine, 600 Cemetery St., in August.

We will be at the following events: Montoursville Grower’s Market, Tuesday; Muncy Fourth Friday, June 28 and July 26; and Williamsport Grower’s Market, Aug. 3. For updates on where we will be, follow us on Facebook!

We also have an online store on etsy.com; search “CreationsofCourage “to find our store.

— If you are experiencing domestic abuse or sexual assault, Wise Options can help 24/7 with a confidential hotline at 800-326-8483.

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