Reiki master. Soul stylist. Yogi. Change agent. Optimist. Healer. Spiritual gangster.
And now, she can add philanthropist to that list.
Last year, before Christmas, Young created Purses Full of Hope, an initiative that aims to bring joy to women in shelters and those fleeing domestic violence. She collects new or lightly used purses filled with the basics that women need: shampoo, toothbrushes, socks, scarves, lipstick, lotion, pens, journals, etc.
The key is to include an anonymous note with an encouraging message for the woman who receives the bag.
“In my business, most of my clientele are women, and I wanted to find a way to help the women who need healing the most, the women who can’t afford to pop into a yoga class or go to a life coach,” said Young, 46, a mother of three and the owner of Besoul Studio. “Last year, I offered a free class to anyone who donated, and I thought we’d get something like 30 purses, but we ended up with more than 100.
“The response was overwhelming.”
It’ll be even more so this year, especially with the help of her daughters Kyra and Brielle Miller. Kyra is a sophomore at Temple, where she is promoting Purses Full of Hope to a new audience.
Furthermore, Young is the wife of a mummer, and she enlisted the help of other wives from New Jersey’s Two Street Stompers Brigade. Consequently, Sally has the help of Danielle Young, Joanne Young, Stacy Young, Kimberly Meehan, and Maddy Meehan, as they collect purses across the river.
“This time of year, we’re always thinking about kids, and that’s beautiful,” said Young. “But there are a lot of mothers raising kids who are struggling. They often get overlooked, so we have to keep their spirits high.”
Among the shelters that benefit from Purses Full of Hope is Mothers’ Home, located in Darby and founded in 1991 as a program to provide hope and support for young adult women who choose life for their unborn child despite rejection, abandonment, and ongoing obstacles. Mothers’ Home provides shelter for up to 28 women during their pregnancy and the first six months after their babies are born.
Besoul Studio will be accepting purse donations from now until Dec. 31. Ditto for the Ridley Township Public Library. Anyone donating there can drop off a purse in the children’s library downstairs.
“I believe in beauty and the empowered feeling a woman has when she feels worthy and pretty,” Young said. “We’re on a mission to not just gift the woman in need, but to also gift the giver. When one woman shows compassion and support in helping another woman, then we begin to break down walls and rebuild relationships.
“We are all the same. We’re mothers, daughters, sisters. No one understands what a woman needs more than another woman.”