WEXFORD COUNTY, MI. Trooper Andrea Tillman of the Michigan State Police (MSP) Cadillac Post began a local initiative in 2019 that has now become a statewide initiative adopted by the MSP. “Purses with a Purpose” was an innovative community policing initiative developed by Trooper Tillman to solve identified community issues. The first issue was a need to raise awareness of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The second was the need for toiletries and non-perishable food items at OASIS, a local women’s resource center.
The main idea behind the initiative was this, the public was encouraged to donate new or gently used purses through the month of April—Sexual Assault Awareness Month. These purses could be empty or be filled with things that would help you feel better after a hard day (mints, hygiene products, snacks, fluffy socks etc.). The purses would be given to survivors and other clients of the local resource center as needed. Often these people are forced to leave their living situation suddenly with nothing but what they have on their person.
This is now a statewide initiative adopted by the MSP and several posts throughout the state are participating. Donations are being accepted through April and will remain local. You can make donations at any of the four MSP Posts in the Seventh District between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. in Alpena, Cadillac, Gaylord, and Houghton Lake.