Skip to content

Rimbey United Church holds Ladies Purse Project for Safe Harbour Society

Purses stuffed to the brim and given out to shelter on Christmas
The UCLF Ladies pic from left to right, Brenda McGillis, Elaine Varty, Audreyanne Bresnahan, Penny Waldron and Marie Beebe. (Photo courtesy of Brenda McGillis)

The Rimbey United Church held a fundraiser recently for the Safe Harbour Society in Red Deer to support the ladies of their homeless shelter.

“They help the neediest of the needy. Everybody needs to have a place,” said Brenda McGillis, member of the church and one of the organizers of the fundraiser.

The fundraiser is called the Ladies Purse Project, where purses are filled with various ladies products and other gift items. The purses are then given to the ladies at the shelter on Christmas morning.

McGillis, who was a social worker before she retired, said she did this project for three years when she worked in Ponoka.

“It was such a worthwhile project that I wanted to continue it in my retirement.”

This year, 30 to 40 purses were requested because of the growing need in the community.

McGillis wanted to thank everyone who helped this year, which includes the members of the Rimbey United Church, the United Church Ladies Fellowship (UCLF), staff of the Carbon School in Carbon, Alta., Rimbey FCSS and friends and family who believe in the project and who have donated every year.

McGillis said she was drawn to a quote on Safe Harbour’s site, which reads, “We serve six types of people at Safe Harbour: mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters.”

“That has a huge impact on my heart. We’re all people, we all have families. We’re fortunate that we’re not in that position, but we’re fortunate that we’re in a position to possibly help them with their mission,” she said.

McGillis wasn’t sure at the start that they would have the 30 to 40 purses to give, but they will end up having the 40 for Safe Harbour Society.

“The purses are absolutely stuffed.”