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The Purse Committee: “The Most Fun Committee You Will Ever Be On”

By Jackie Jones, YWCA Minneapolis Intern
July 5, 2017
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ywca circle of women purse committee

Jackie Jones, a junior at MSU Mankato, is currently interning with YWCA Minneapolis. She had the opportunity to interview two YWCA Minneapolis Board members and ask them about their involvement with Circle of Women.

Many people are familiar with YWCA Minneapolis’ annual Circle of Women fundraising event, but few know about the fabulous Purse Committee that is pivotal to the event’s success.

The Purse Committee is responsible for collecting all of the purses and add-on experiences that are auctioned off at the Circle of Women event. The purses at Circle of Women represent economic empowerment for women, and the ladies on this committee take their job seriously. All while remembering to have a blast!

Mallory Mitchell, Purse Committee co-chair

Mallory Mitchell, a co-chair on the Purse Committee for the past two years, hadn’t been too involved with the Circle of Women event prior to joining the Purse Committee. She was very nervous when asked to be a chair of the committee. She said yes and doesn’t regret it. She has had so much fun collecting all of the purses and meeting new people.


Jeninne McGee, Purse Committee co-chair

Jeninne McGee, the other co-chair on the committee this past year, joined because she knew she wanted to be involved in Circle of Women somehow. This committee seemed like a fun way to get involved and was different from any other committee in which she had participated.


Purses + Committee = Unique and Fun

The Purse Committee is made up of board members, young professionals and community volunteers. This year YWCA’s emerging leaders network, GenYWCA, played a big role, too. The committee has about four months to collect purses before the event. During this time everyone on the committee is assigned a territory and their job is to collect as many purses in that territory as they can. They are also responsible for sharing the purses on social media and working to promote them until the event. Mallory describes the collection process as “unique and fun”. She explained how you are asking businesses to donate a seemingly unimportant item, but to the committee and Circle of Women event, these bags represent so much more.

GenYWCA at Circle of Women event

“No one can be in a bad mood in a room full of purses!”

Jeninne explained that everyone on the committee comes with a lot of energy and passion for getting their donations and has a lot of fun doing it. Mallory also talked about how much fun they have while working to collect donations and added, “No one can be in a bad mood in a room full of purses!”

Favorite Moments

Jeninne’s favorite part about being on the committee is the meetings where they all come together to talk about the purses and what they are looking to collect. She also loves the helpful notes and encouragement from David, a YWCA staff member who provides support to committee members during the purse collection process.

Jeninne and David collecting purses

Mallory’s favorite parts about being on the committee are the people she gets to work with and the friendships she’s made. She talked about how comfortable they are around each other and whenever they get together they have fun.

Empowering Women through Circle of Women Event

Both women really enjoy the Circle of Women event and seeing all of their hard work on display. To Mallory, the Circle of Women event represents empowerment for women and she loves seeing so many women come together in one place for a great cause. Mallory also had a speaking role this past year and said, “I felt empowered to be up there and I never would’ve been able to have that opportunity without YWCA.”

Mallory speaking at Circle of Women event