Bag Donations Helping Domestic Violence Victims 

A local Hallmark store and a national handbag maker are teaming up to help domestic violence victims in the Bangor area. There’s something special going on at Patrick’s Hallmark at the Bangor Mall. ” It shows support to the people who need help and it shows support to organizations like ours,” said Amanda Cost. Cost is the program director for Spruce Run, an organization helping women who are victims of domestic abuse. ” May not have the ability to grab their purse from their home when they are leaving, so it really is a big deal,” explained Cost. Some of the most popular handbags are Vera Bradley. The Vera Bradley company is teaming up with some of the stores selling the bags to give back to local communities. At Patrick’s Hallmark, if you bring in a gently-used Vera Bradley bag, it will be donated to Spruce Run. ” When you’re helping somebody who is experiencing violence, you don’t have to be the hotline worker, or the person who donates a bunch of money. You can be somebody who takes a purse and brings it to a store like this to help,” said Cost. If you donate a bag, you can get something in return, if you’d like. ” They get 20% off a new Vera Bradley bag to replace their bag with,” said Dianne Grant, a sales associate at Patrick’s Hallmark. For some people, a bag might not seem like much, but to a victim of domestic abuse, it can make a difference. ” They’re starting a whole new life, and a whole new chapter in their life,” said Grant. ” It’s something that you carry with you every day. It holds some of those personal items that you don’t want anyone else to see,” added Cost. The hope is these colorful bags will be the start of a bright new day for the ladies receiving them. The bags will be given out to women staying in Spruce Run’s confidential shelter or transitional shelter programs. You can drop off bags through Sunday at Patrick’s Hallmark at the Bangor Mall. If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, call Spruce Run’s 24 hour hotline at 1-800-863-9909.