Giving Back Makes You Healthier and Happier

the-purse-project-niagara-1by Elaine Slatter

Sociologists Christian Smith and Hilary Davidson in their recent book, The Paradox of Generosity surveyed over 2000 Americans over a five-year period and found that people who give are healthier and happier.  But giving back is a muscle and must be exercised on a regular basis, not just randomly.

Two enterprising entrepreneurs, Sarah Boville of Barefoot Travel and Mandi Neiser of Married by Mandi exercised their ‘giving back’ muscle with a simple wish

Fill a purse with love and a woman’s heart with hope

purse-project-niagara-6A simple wish to make the holiday season brighter for women at risk in the Niagara area becomes an explosion of generosity from women in the community.

The brainchild of friends Sarah Boville and Mandi Neiser, the project mushroomed from a modest goal of gathering 100 gently used purses filled with useful items.  It ended up to be a mountain of over 600 purses.  These purses were delivered before Christmas to the many agencies in the Niagara region that help women in crisis.

Adapting from other purse projects across the country, Sarah and Mandi, reached out through Facebook in early November to see if they could collect a few purses.    Their Purse Project Niagara Facebook page became a popular place.  Donors could find out what items to add to the purses and where to drop them off.   But it also became a wall of generosity pictures, a wall of happy, smiling faces.

The Power of Social Media

And then Facebook took over.    More posts got shared by friends and groups.   Organizations like the Company of Women Niagara chapter and Fabulous Fempreneurship got on board and encouraged women entrepreneurs to donate.    Drop off centres were happy to ask their customers to contribute and the snowball began.

the-purse-project-niagara-4Even the Girl Guides of Fonthill contributed to the project.  And what about the guys?   Yes, many were involved too.   Josh at the Wine Rack in Niagara Falls, one of the drop-off points, was a willing helper.   Husbands became enthusiastic packers and drivers transporting the purses to local women’s shelters.  By December 20th all the purses were delivered.

Sarah and Mandi are on board to repeat for 2017 and they have inspired many of us to start a similar project in our own areas.


A Worldwide Sisterhood of Supporters Giving Back

the-purse-project-niagara-3Worldwide, entrepreneurial women are becoming a sisterhood of supporters for other women.   This can be giving employment to women in South Africa through social enterprise, building schools, educating girls.  The list is endless.

Giving back is simple.   Find out what is needed.   Rally together a team of like-minded women who want to help and kick off your campaign.    It will put a smile on your face and increase your health and happiness.

Tell us about your giving back initiatives.


Elaine SlatterElaine Slatter is a Small Business Expert, founder of  XL Consulting Group and author of the popular book, “Fabulous Fempreneurship”, a complete business guide for women.  XL Consulting Group helps entrepreneurs with market planning, strategy, branding, web design and social media. She has over 30 years of executive business and marketing experience and is ready to help you rocket your business to success.  Elaine is passionate about mentoring women to become successful women entrepreneurs.   To find out more, visit XL Consulting Group or join the Fabulous Fempreneurship mastermind.

You can connect with Elaine on social media at:  Facebook Group | Twitter | Facebook




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