TNA District 8 Red Purse Project participants pose for photo with donations to Casa Misericordia.From left to right: Ana Laura Patino, Sister Rosemary Welch, Angeles Sanchez, Karen Martinez, Blanca Dominguez, Brenda Perez, and Irene Rosales.
For nearly 100 years, Texas Nurses Association District Eight—one of the original nine districts —has provided innovative community health services in Laredo and the more than 25 counties that make up the district in south central Texas.
This year, the district continued its three-year tradition of supporting the Red Purse Project. Beginning in 1988, The Red Purse Campaign aims to bring attention to Equal Pay Day and wage gaps between men and women in the U.S.
District Eight, along with nurses from Laredo’s United Independent School District, have expanded on that concept, filling red purses with toiletries, perfumes, clothing and other necessities and delivering them to shelters that support women experiencing domestic abuse.
Jennifer Cook, PhD, MBA, RN, a TNA member who helped organize the project, says many of the purse recipients are starting “from scratch,” and need the basics many of us take for granted.
TNA District 8 Red Purse Project donations coordinated by Irene Rosales, MSN, RN at United Independent School District in Laredo.
The reason nurses participate in the project are as varied as the nurses themselves. There are stories of personal experience but also of contact with recipients of the purses in a patient setting. “This is part of the art of nursing, to care for the total individual, promoting wellness and not just helping the patient or client based on the presenting health problem,” she says.
Nurses in Laredo made personal donations and, in some cases, organized donations as projects within their campuses. Over $1,000 worth of donations were collectedand given to Casa De Misericordia, which offers emergency assistance to domestic violence victims in the city.
“Nurses understand the tremendous courage it takes for women to move from abusive relationships,” says Cook, “and providing a few necessities is only a token show of support to these women.”