Orillia Nursing Home Collecting Items for Women in Shelters


‘A lot of times when people land in a women’s shelter, they have nothing,’ says manager of Atrium retirement home

A retirement residence in Orillia works hard to support women in need in the area.

During the month of April, Atrium Retirement Residence collects purses, bags and essentials for women living in local shelters as part of its Pack-a-Purse program.

“One of our sister houses started doing this in Gravenhurst during the pandemic,” chief executive Shelly Nobile explained. “They were able to collect 250 purses and hand them out to people in women’s shelters.”

The Gravenhurst initiative has been well received, Nobile says, so it’s now a company-wide fundraiser in 15 homes. The objective is to collect 100 scholarships per household.

“A lot of times when people land in a women’s shelter, they have nothing,” Nobile said. “Places like the lighthouse definitely need it.”

Handbags must be dropped off at Atrium Retirement Residence, 230 Coldwater Rd., by May 6. Once they’re gathered, the plan is to fill the bags with lip balm, face cream, slippers, socks, makeup, sunscreen, feminine hygiene products, tablets of chocolate, pens, dyes, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, hairbrushes and other purse or bag essentials.

“If people would drop us these kinds of items, we would be more than grateful,” Nobile said. “After that, our staff and residents will go in to pack and deliver them.”

So far, nearly 30 purses and bags have been donated by community members. Current and former staff and former staff at Atrium Retirement Residence have already contributed by donating essential items.

“It’s been overwhelming so far,” Nobile said. “We are confident that the support will continue.”

The initiative has boosted morale at the local nursing home, and Nobile says it always feels good to help others in need.

“Things are really tight these days,” she said. “For anyone interested in donating to us, it means so much.”

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