One of Merriam-Webster's definitions of "purse" is "resources," and that's just what MIT administrator, Svetlana Sussman is... "resource"ful.
Svetlana's late father, a professor of physics at St. Petersburg State University, had been blind since the age of 2. In his memory, his daughter has partnered with American organizations to provide over 500 white walking canes to students and young professionals living in Russia.
All of the donations are transported to Russia by business people and college students (Dartmouth and Brandeis among them), because of the hefty taxes applied to gifts sent through the mail. The M.N. Adamov Fund for the Blind also donates digital recorders for students to use during lectures and collects used computers. Sussman says they rely on people, “opening their hearts and their suitcases.” The Boston Globe. 4/9/10