Nearly $26,000 Raised for Homeless Families with Children



Harford Family House


Harford Family House’s 8thAnnual “Hope in Handbags-A Purse of you Own Silent Purse Auction & Retail Sale” raises nearly $26,000 for homeless families with children-their most successful yet!


The Harford County community came out in full force to support Harford Family House’s 8th Annual Silent Purse Auction and Retail Sale on September 9th-10th at the Bel Air Armory.  This year the event raised nearly $26,000, which was the most successful in its eight years running.  Attendees were able to bid on 127 new designer bags that were donated and/or sponsored by the community and local business and government celebrities throughout Harford County. They were also able to shop a selection of “never used or gently used” handbags being sold for a fraction of their retail cost, all while enjoying refreshments, entertainment, and local vendors from Harford County.  The event was sponsored by Saxon’s Diamond Centers, and all proceeds benefited Harford Family House, the local non-profit organization dedicated to supporting homeless families with children in Harford County.


The event kicked off on Friday September 9th from 6pm-8:30pm at the Bel Air Armory. For a donation of $10, attendees got the first chance to shop for designer handbags and win door prizes, while enjoying complimentary hors d’oeuvres, wine tastings, and a chance to shop the nine vendor tables present. Deborah Owens, a Wealth Coach and author of “A Purse of Your Own,” was the Honorary Chair this year.  She spoke to the audience about financial wellness and stability, and also included book signings for those who purchased her book that evening donating the proceeds back to Harford Family House.  On Saturday, September 10th, doors at the Armory opened from 10am to 3pm and admission was free.  This was the last chance to put in your bids for the Silent Auction Celebrity Bags that were stuffed with great gift cards, jewelry, scarfs, make up, and much more!


In addition to the auction and purchases, attendees were able to support Harford Family House by purchasing a Raffle ticket to win a stunning Michele Watch, valued at over $1800, donated by Saxon’s Diamond Centers.  Second prize for the raffle was a Dooney & Bourke Ravens Handbag (Donated by Boscov’s) paired with a signed Joe Flacco official NFL football. Both winners were thrilled with their prizes.


Attendee’s got to choose from more than 1,500 donated purses, including popular brands such as Coach, Michael Kors, Dooney & Bourke, and Vera Bradley. All bags were donated by local celebrities, stores, and sponsors.  All silent auction items also had a “Buy It Now” price in case attendees found a purse they could not live without and were ready to just purchase it right away.



Saxon’s Diamond Center was once again the title sponsor for this year’s Hope in Handbags event. The Portfolio Sponsor this year was Harford Financial Group, while the Media Sponsor was the Daily Record. Shoulder Bag Sponsors included APGFCU, The Kelly Group, Chesapeake Employers Insurance, Harford Community College, Harford Mutual Insurance and Gordon Feinblatt, LLC. Beach Bag Sponsors included Jones Advisory, Key Title, Pandora Jewelry, Mid Atlantic Title, and Snee, Lutche, Helmlinger, & Spielberger P.A.  Sampling Sponsor was NVS Salon.  Wallet Sponsors included Phil Romm Consulting, Rapid Refill, Ameriprise Financial, and Jamberry.


The organization’s CEO/Executive Director Robin Tomechko says, “Hope in Handbags is such a fun girls night out and it offers attendees great deals on purses, bags, and other items. This event is also one of our most important fundraisers of the year. It costs just $25 to provide a single night of housing to a parent or child in need, so it’s easy to see the impact that funds raised from this event will have on helping the  homeless in our community. This past year we served more families with children than ever before- 54 families including 110 children.  82% of the families that completed the program here at Harford Family House were able to successfully move on to a more stable housing situation. Ending homelessness for families is a difficult task, but the support and generosity from the community makes our mission much easier.  Thank you to everyone who supported the Purse Auction this year.”


For more information on Harford Family House please call 410-273-6700 or visit




About Harford Family House (


Harford Family House is the largest provider of transitional housing for homeless families with children in Harford County.  Other programs include Emergency Shelter for families and HUD Supportive Housing for homeless families where one family member has a disability.  Clients are provided with a fully furnished apartment or house and receive case management services and referrals to partner agencies to move them from homelessness and hopelessness to hope and independence.

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