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Handbags for Hope

Handbags For Hope

A handbag, an everyday catchall and symbol of financial empowerment, may also serve as a life-saving utility to those experiencing power-based abuse.



An everyday utility that nearly every woman carries could truly save her life – the simple handbag. In 2018 Texas Advocacy Project collected over 9,400 handbags for domestic violence survivors. The goal of this campaign is to ultimately lead survivors to free legal help, safety, and new beginnings.

Handbags for Hope is an essential means for Texas Advocacy Project (The Project) to place life-saving legal information in the hands of victims as they transition out of domestic violence shelters and begin the process of rebuilding their lives. The Project, along with the Travis County Sheriff’s Office, was able to collect your donations of new or gently used handbags to support this community outreach effort. The Project has collected more than 48,400 bags via Handbags for Hope since it first launched 11 years ago.

We look forward to having everyone join us at next year’s Handbags for Hope campaign.

Here is how the process works:

  • - Children in Texas shelters are designated to select one of the donated handbags to give their mother on Mother’s Day!
  • - Though the annual drive is focused on a spring collection timeframe, Texas Advocacy Project fulfills shelters’ requests to have purses on hand throughout the year.
  • - The key idea is that regardless of what may happen to the pamphlets, the phone number will always be accessible inside the bag and is not easily discoverable by an abuser.
  • - Each bag will contain a chance for a new life as each is fitted with a discreet tag that lists The Project’s toll-free legal line along with safety planning and economic empowerment pamphlets.
  • - None of this could happen without you! Start collecteing handbags and we'll see you in 2019!

“In 2017, The Project provided legal services in 5,096 cases, serving 12,707 Texans in 168 counties. We know how critical access to legal services is in helping victims begin their journey of becoming a survivor,” said Heather Bellino, Executive Director of Texas Advocacy Project. “When victims call our legal line it is often the first time they have ever spoken with an attorney to learn that they have rights and that they can get protection and safety. It is a life-altering moment. By placing The Project’s legal line inside the bags, victims will be armed with one of the strongest tools to break the cycle of violence – access to legal services.”


Thank you to all of our 2018 Drop Off locations!

If you'd like to participate as a drop-off location or host a private/public drive in 2019, contact