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FAST @ UCLA: Purses For A Purpose- San Diego

Updated: Jun 18, 2020

Publisher: Iqra Irfan

Published: May 25, 2020

Purses for a Purpose: The charity organization founded by Shayna Rutman that has blown up on the social media platform “TikTok” and how it is helping underprivileged women in her San Diego community.


Nowadays, it isn’t uncommon for videos to go viral overnight, and Shayna Rutman’s volunteer project “ Purses for a Purpose” was one of those videos, and more specifically, a TikTok. Shayna and her dad created Purse for a Purpose with the intent to give back to her San Diego community and the homeless women in need, using donated bags collected from around the county and filling them up with female toiletries.

When asked what inspired her to start such a powerful movement at such a young age,

Shayna responded “ I’ve always been inspired to create change, whether large or small. The

purpose is to remind the women who receive the donations their value in society and that they are loved. Homelessness is such a prominent issue in society and homeless women especially have limited or no access to important sanitary products to care for themselves, which is unfair and part of the reason I grew this project and movement: to raise awareness about the homeless crisis. I am motivated by the fact that no one should be treated differently based on their socio-economic status and I wanted to use my privilege and platform to give back to these women. The homelessness crisis is much bigger than I am, but I’m glad to be giving back in any way I can, and seeing their reactions to receiving these purses full of travel-sized toiletries motivates me to go even further with this project.”

Shayna says she was absolutely blown away by the response from TikTok and was more

than enthusiastic for the future of “Purses for a Purpose”. She hopes to open up a charter in

Washington D.C. where she will be attending university in the fall. When asked how she plans to execute this move, she answered “I’m really excited to expand this project/cause at the nation’s capital and hopefully the homeless crisis discussion can be brought to the forefront of Congress and change can be made. I’m not sure of the logistic aspect yet when it comes to a cross country transfer, but I know I can rely on my school’s support system to help me grow the project.” Shayna was not alone in the creation of “Purses for a Purpose”, with her dad and her San Diego community pitching in donations of female hygiene products and purses. She says “ They (San Diego County) have been so supportive with the donations and spreading awareness about the cause over social media. I’ve received a lot of praise and I’m very grateful for it. I also reached out to several magazines and news stations to further promote my movement and have received positive responses. My community efforts to donate supplies or funds to grow my cause is so amazing and reminds me that there is more good in this world!”

Shayna Rutman wants people who are interested in giving back to their community to

know that “You can do it! Yes, it is difficult to start a volunteer project, but in the end, you are

making such a large difference that benefits others AND creating a well-needed conversation

surrounding your movement and cause. Please don’t be afraid of backlash or criticism because you are making a change that no one else is even brave enough to attempt to begin. I’m always here to help you every step of the way, please don’t hesitate to reach out!”

If you’d like to help contribute donations to Purses for a Purpose - San Diego, please use these contacts for more information:

If you are interested in getting involved with the expansion of Purses for a Purpose - Los

Angeles, please contact:

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