YWCA Charleston selected for Purple Purse campaign - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

YWCA Charleston selected for Purple Purse campaign

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CHARLESTON, WV -

The power of the purse is one reason why many victims of domestic abuse don't leave the situation, but The Allstate Foundation is using purses to empower.

The foundation recently launched the third annual Purple Purse Campaign throughout October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

YWCA Charleston was selected as one of 30 local YWCAs across the country the foundation has selected for the national campaign to raise awareness about domestic violence.

YWCA Charleston received 10 purple handbags, stuffed with facts about domestic violence. The Y received its own local code number, and the idea is that each time the purse is passed along, its new recipient will visit www.purplepurse.com to register the code number, and The Allstate Foundation will donate $5 each time. Purses also can be digitally shared as well.

West Virginia's Volunteer Purple Purse Campaign Director Carrie Bowe, whose day job is with Clayman & Associates in Charleston, said just getting selected is exciting.

"It says a lot about our Y," Bowe said. "The other places that were selected were New York City, Los Angeles, these big monster cities, but our track record of success and the things the Y does to raise money, says a lot about us."

Bowe said people have had a hard time believing the campaign is as simple as a one-minute stop on the web to register a number, but a few days into the campaign, the YWCA Charleston already had a few thousand registrations. If the YWCA Charleston is able to pass its purses a total of 1,000 times, The Allstate Foundation will double the donation and give a $10,000 grant.

Bowe explained that domestic violence is one of the foundation's two major philanthropic causes, and the staggering statistics helped move her to action as well. Domestic violence happens more than 145 times each hour in the United States, on average, and fewer than half of Americans say they would know how to help a victim of domestic violence, according to information from the YWCA.

To help the YWCA Charleston pass its purse, visit www.purplepurse.com and use 01295 as the code. The campaign lasts through Oct. 31.