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Sandra Moniz-Prencipe

2024 Vaughan Honouree

sandra moniz-prencipe vaughan

“Repurposing for a purpose” were the words that Sandra Moniz-Prencipe used when trying to articulate her heart-centred motivations behind Purse Project York Region, which began in 2016 with a goal of collecting one hundred purses but yielded two hundred and sixteen.   It was a concept that immediately resonated with other women in Sandra’s circle and very quickly grew in interest, donations, and volunteers. 

“They call me the founder” she laughed, “but the truth is, I only had the idea to do it once…this is still a thing because of their passion and devotion”.  The purses are filled with love (brand new toiletry items, cosmetics, socks, jewellery, gum, gift cards, feminine hygiene products) and other useful comforts every woman should have.  The purses are then distributed to more than 20 charitable organizations and community groups across York Region.

As a little girl, Sandra was instinctively good at organizing and bringing people together.  A natural event planner from a very young age, she solved her summer-month-birthday-woes by creating and distributing handmade invitations well in advance, during the school year.  A self-professed Community Connector, her friends, family, neighbours and community agree that she has a contagious energy, an incredible heart and ability to inspire, empower and unite everyone within the light of her sparkle.

In 2023 Purse Project York Region set a target of 500 purses and nearly doubled that in actual collections.  Additionally, they were the proud recipients of the 2023 City of Vaughan Mayor’s Spirit of Generosity Fund which allows them to purchase any additionally needed items to finish off each miraculous bag.

The goal for this year is 1,000 purses and May comes fast each year.  Mothers Day Month is when Purse Project York Region is in high gear.  The team has the entire operation down to a science so that filling the purses only takes one magical night at a top-secret location, thanks to the help of a small handful of original volunteers.

When asked about how she does it all, she simply laughed and stated, “Priorities… priorities are everything; nobody is busy.”

‌Using her professional and personal gifts to serve her community, she sets a noble example to other businesses and individuals to step up.  What started eight years ago as small grassroots effort coordinated out of her garage, has now expanded into an ongoing partnership with Hub Vaughan (storage) who loved what Sandra and her team of Purse Project Champions were doing and wanted to help, offering to be the new “home” of Purse Project York Region. 

Leading a life of thankfulness and expressing gratitude for everything, Sandra continues to create and generate hope and opportunities for the people in her community who need it the most and in ways that really touch the hearts of those receiving as well as those involved.  “Be the sunshine on a cloudy day” and watch what grows around you.

For more information please visit @purseprojectyork on Instagram.




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