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NextGen 2020

Kyra Miller

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Co-founder, Purses Full of Hope

23, Philadelphia

By Lisa Dukart

Photo By Tessa Marie Images.

More than a half million Americans experience homelessness every year—and for women, domestic violence often plays a role. Kyra Miller has been working to help relieve some of that burden with her Glen Mills-based Purses Full of Hope.

After weathering some of her own family difficulties, Miller teamed up with her mother and sister for an initial campaign in 2015, collecting 50 purses. Six years later, donors are supplying new and gently used bags filled with women’s toiletries. Each care package is personalized with a handwritten note of encouragement, and all messages are screened to ensure that they won’t unintentionally trigger domestic abuse victims. “It can say one word; it can be a paragraph; it can be whatever you want,” says Miller, who graduated from Temple University last year. “[We really want these women to] know that people out there are rooting for them.”

Purses Full of Hope also works with recovery centers and school programs. Since its inception, the organization has held drives all over the country, but it continues to see significant donations from Delaware County, Philadelphia, South Jersey and Delaware. “Empowering women and building each other up is my number one priority,” Miller says.