$22,000 for Homeless Families with Children Raised




Harford Family House’s 9th Annual “Hope in Handbags-Silent Purse Auction & Retail Sale” raises $22,000 for homeless families with children 


The Harford County community came out in full force to support Harford Family House’s 9th Annual Silent Purse Auction and Retail Sale on September 8th-9th at the Bel Air Armory, raising $22,000.  Attendees were able to bid on 111 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 even had a selection of themed purses for teens sponsored by Grace Callwood, honorary Board Member of Harford Family House and founder of the youth-led We Cancerve Foundation. 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 8th from 6pm-8:30pm at the Bel Air Armory. For a donation of $10, attendees got the first chance to shop designer handbags and win door prizes, while enjoying complimentary hors d’oeuvres, wine tastings, and an assortment of vendors. On Saturday, September 9th, doors were open from 10am to 3pm and admission was free.  This was the last chance to put in bids for the Silent Auction bags that were stuffed with great gift cards, jewelry, scarfs, make up, wine 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. Both winners were thrilled with their prizes.


Attendees chose from more than 1,500 donated purses, including popular brands such as Coach, Michael Kors, Dooney & Bourke, and Vera Bradley. Bags were donated by local celebrities, stores, sponsors, and the community.  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 Centers was once again the title sponsor for this year’s Hope in Handbags event. Evening Purse Sponsors were Harford Mutual and Wells Fargo. Shoulder Bag Sponsors included Bridges Consulting, Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance, Gordon Feinblatt, and Harford Community College. Beach Bag Sponsors included APGFCU, Ameriprise Financial, First Mariner Bank and Kelly Group.  Wallet Sponsors included, NVS Salon, Paidon Products, Phil Romm Consulting, Rapid Refill, and Snee, Lutche, Helmlinger & Spielberger, P.A.


The organization’s CEO 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 43 families, including 97 children and 56 adults.  Our success rate was an unprecedented 90%!  While we are proud of all we have accomplished, there is still so much more to do.  Currently there are over 150 families waiting for the services we provide. Ending homelessness for families is a difficult task, but your generosity and support make 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 www.harfordfamilyhouse.org



About Harford Family House (www.harfordfamilyhouse.org)

Harford Family House is the largest provider of transitional housing for homeless families with children in Harford County. Other programs include HUD Supportive Housing for homeless families where one family member has a disability, Rapid Rehousing, and Ready by 21, a program to support unaccompanied young adults ages 18-21 who are involved with the foster care system. 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 despair to hope and independence.

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