Manchester woman collects handbags, other items to help domestic violence victims

MANCHESTER — A local woman is collecting handbags and personal care supplies to help women and children escaping domestic violence.

Tania Palermo owns the Tania Palermo Studio on Main, where she does photography and massage therapy. Since early March, donors have been dropping donations off outside her office door at the Armory building, located at 330 Main St.

Palermo has been participating in and hosting these drives for longer than she can keep track of. It started when a friend of hers who works at a Hartford shelter asked her to get involved and help with a clothing and supplies drive.

Palermo first hosted her own drive at the request of locals who heard about the drives her friends were doing in Hartford and wanted an opportunity to make a difference with local women.

The idea is that women and children who are victims of domestic violence can bring these bags of basic survival items with them when they escape. Palermo has gotten positive feedback from women who have been there.

“One woman expressed to me that she felt so marginalized and invisible, and when she received something like this it made her feel like people cared,” she said.

The supplies she’s looking for include — but are not limited to — soap, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, tampons, pads, diapers, toothbrushes, toothpaste, socks, baby powder, toilet paper, and face wash.

She currently has collected 400 handbags and is still trying to garner enough supplies to fill each of them.

She and a group of volunteers will be loading and distributing the bags on Sunday, May 6.

Once the bags are packed, they will be driven to Interval House, a Manchester domestic violence shelter, and the Prudence Crandall Center in New Britain. If there are enough donations, they will also send bags to Fresh Place in Hartford.

So far, she has received donations from countless individuals, as well as ShopRite, the Manchester Women’s Club, and the Hartford Area Roller Derby.

For more information about the drive and how to get involved, you can visit the event Facebook page at

https://www.facebook.com/events/2061783324093155/

Originally published by the Journal Inquirer

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