Do you happen to have any purses lying around that you just know you are not ever going to use again? Maybe you found some you had forgotten about during some spring cleaning?

While there are many worthy thrift stores, donation centers, etc. the Michigan State Police (MSP) actually has a very great, very worthy cause too!

Yes, the police are collecting purses and no, it's not just so police officers can look stylish on the job...though, come to think of it, that's not really a bad idea...

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Anyways, back to the point here. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and that is a big deal in itself.

Statistically speaking, we probably all know at least one sexual assault survivor. We just might not know it.

There is such a lack of awareness, a stigma and a general amount of fear around sexual assault but it happens and it is great that we can have an entire month dedicated to conversations and resources for these strong survivors who got themselves out of some horrifying situations.

That's where MSP's "Purses With a Purpose" program comes in.

According to WILX News 10, Michigan State Police will be collecting gently used or new purses to be filled with comforting items like "candy, hygiene products, snacks, masks and more" and distributed to women looking to resources like women's shelters.

However, the "purpose" of these purpose goes further than to just give them something to keep a bunch of "stuff" in. For example, Karen Sova, the Development Director of Underground Railroad in Saginaw highlighted to ABC 12 what the program means:

"When you’re leaving a domestic violence situation, I mean, a lot of times they don’t have anything," Sova said. "So the health and hygiene products that come in will be used, obviously for shelter guests as well as non-resident clients who might need them. So it’s a really good way to show them that the community is behind them as well."

The program is executed by Michigan State Police posts across the state and benefit various women's shelters and resources in various areas as well.

Here is Assistant Post Commander of the Metro North Post for the Michigan State Police, Lt. Sarah Krebs, explaining on Civic Center TV what "Purses With a Purpose" is all about and how it started just last year in Cadillac:

As far as the Lansing area goes, MSP Newsroom ( says donations will be accepted throughout the month at the MSP Lansing Post (7119 N. Canal Rd.) during their Monday through Friday hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

According to WILX, items donated to Lansing Post will be helping survivors through the Michigan State University Center for Survivors and the Capital Area Response Effort.

If you or someone you know is in a crisis, RAINN operates the 24/7 National Sexual Assault Hotline where you can find support, advice, etc and can be contacted at:

800-656-HOPE or chat online with a trained support specialist.

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