SANTA MONICA—As confirmed by city officials, Santa Monica Police Department volunteers collaborated with Santa Monica Commission on the Status of Women and the Westside Domestic Violence Network to start a collection drive.

A press release from the Santa Monica Police Department stated, “Domestic Violence adversely impacts the mind, body and spirit of its victims through physical and emotional abuse as well as financial manipulation. Its impact extends beyond the family and spills into our community at large.”

The newly launched Handbags of Hope campaign will support Santa Monica domestic violence shelters by providing “gently used handbags for displaced women and teens experiencing abuse at home.”

Canyon News reached out to Sergeant Rudy Camarena of the SMPD, who explained that the handbags are stocked with daily toiletries.

The delivery of 372 handbags on Monday, November 8, to undisclosed domestic violence shelters throughout the city of Santa Monica, has the full support of Police Chief Seabrooks. “No lady should ever have to carry their personal belongings in a trash bag,” said Seabrooks.

Lions Gate Entertainment, which is headquartered in Santa Monica, Calthorp School, the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, the Fairmont Miramar hotel, and local faith-based organizations have gathered together to serve as corporate donors, advocating for the cause and offering collection points.

Sergeant Camarena explained to Canyon News that the collection points are “physical locations outside and in addition to the police department’s footprint where donors could drop off the handbags.” Volunteers will then pick up and distribute the items from the collection points to domestic violence shelters.

When asked about the direct involvement of the donors for the campaign, Sergeant Camarena told Canyon News, “Donors were encouraged to also provide a $15.00 gift card. Corporate donors internalized and absorbed the expense of advertising and promoting the campaign to their employees, guests and business partners. No dollar value has been attached to the items (toiletries) donated by corporate donors.”

The Santa Monica Police Department posted an announcement regarding the campaign, stating: “A woman’s purse is essential to her everyday life. Handbags of Hope gives back this very important possession to women escaping an abusive situation.”