A charity campaign started here in Ottawa is taking off with the help of social media.

Tanya O’Connor started ‘Project Purse’ to help homeless women across the city. She posted a message on Facebook, asking her friends to donate gently used purses, along with items from around the house.

O’Connor said she hoped to fill about 50 purses with toiletries, beauty products, gloves and hats to deliver to those in need.

“We expected 50 when I started this. For sure we got over 300, if not double that,” said O’Connor.

O’Connor said her Facebook post was shared close to 50 times. Then, she was contacted by a friend who offered to create a YouTube video for the campaign. The video has been viewed more than 500 times.

 “This doesn’t take a lot of money, people have purses in their house, people have toiletries in their closets,” said O’Connor.

To make donating easy, O’Connor secured four drop off locations across the city.

One location was Soulful Creations Tattoo Studio in Orléans.

“We have 65 plus purses, we have mouthwash, dental floss, toothpaste, toothbrushes, over 125 at last count,” said Krista Leach, the owner at the tattoo shop.

Leach said she heard about the campaign online, but never expected it would grow so big.

“We’re all fighting back tears. I think it’s hard not to get emotional when you see the community coming together like this,” said Leach.

Angele Brown dropped by the shop on Saturday to donate.

“To give back to the community, it’s very important, everybody needs to have a chance,” said Brown, who brought mittens, and toiletries.

O’Connor said she would be putting the purses together on Sunday with the help of volunteers.

The purses will be donated to shelters across the city.