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AAUW holds purse drive for women’s shelter

Urneth Arreguin-Zavala, senior in psychology and vice president of Altruistic Alliance of University Women (AAUW), sits with donated bags and items in the Office of Student Diversity. The bags and items donated to AAUW are going to help a local women’s shelter. Dominic Santiago

The Altruistic Alliance of University Women (AAUW) held a “Purses with Purpose” drive to help support the local women’s shelter. The event consisted of collecting purses and bags to fill with essential items for women that are leaving the women’s shelter.

“We just kind of got together and we wanted to do some community service projects but none of us could really fully commit into like doing sororities and stuff like that so,” said Urneth Arreguin, senior in psychology and vice president of AAUW. “We thought creating a group of our own was kind of like the right path so we could really do what we wanted to do without any regulations and like set our own rules.”

Arreguin talked about the inspiration behind the purse drive.

“So, this just started the 1st of November up to the 16th. It kind of started as an idea because we wanted to help the women shelter like we’ve done here before. But I think we did something about a year ago to help the woman shelter, but we wanted to do something more sustainable.” Arreguin said.

Many other organizations on campus hold fundraisers and events to support local shelters and organization that help struggling people. AAUW wanted to find a new way to support these organizations.

“We wanted to do something other than you know, like getting a bunch of plastic from like hygiene products, which is something that they need, but the there’s another group on campus doing something similar, so we didn’t want to do the same thing.” Arreguin said.

“But, after a conversation with one of the women at the shelter, we asked them what do you need and they said that they really struggled with women when they left they didn’t really have anything like attainable or not even a bag to put their stuff in, so that’s kind of where the idea came from, and we just kind of it was kind of like an idea thrown around, and then by the time November hit. We were like that seems like a great idea to do now because it’s getting colder so. That’s kind of where that came from,” Arreguin said.

She talked about AAUW and how to get involved in the organization. She emphasized the relaxed nature of meetings and the group as a whole.

“(The organization is) Low commitment. We don’t do points or anything like that, it’s just kind of we have this thing going on so you should come and join us,” Arreguin said. “If you can’t, that’s alright. People stay up to date with what we’re doing, and I think we have had really good success because if people can’t show up, there’s still sharing our posts on their social media accounts and talking to people about our events.”

Arreguin shared some ways that an average person can become involved in helping less fortunate people in a constructive and sustainable way.

“(Others should) try to be more sustainable,” Arreguin said. “Really think about how you get involved. If you’re going to be donating things, think about to what source they go to. If you’re going to be donating to goodwill, they just mark up their prices and are really terrible to their workers, so try to look for things that are more in your community. I think it’s essential to shop local and doing community service more locally than at a greater scale can be more helpful.”

More information about AAUW can be found on Gorilla Engage.

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