Huge Discounts Available at Harford Family House’s 10th Annual Hope in Handbags


Silent Purse Auction & Retail Sale offers hundreds of handbags for a fraction of retail cost

Harford Family House is hosting its 10th Annual “Hope in Handbags” Silent Purse Auction & Retail Sale presented by Saxon’s Diamond Centers on Friday, November 2 (6 – 8:30 p.m.) and Saturday, November 3 (10 a.m. – 3 p.m.) at the Bel Air Armory (37 N Main St.) to raise much-needed funds and awareness for Harford County’s families with children experiencing homelessness.

Bargain hunters and handbag enthusiasts alike are invited to bid on new designer bags and shop a selection of never-used or gently-used bags being sold for a fraction of their retail cost. All items available at Hope in Handbags were donated and/or sponsored by the community, local businesses and government celebrities throughout Harford County.

Harford Family House is the only organization in Harford County providing transitional housing and case management support services for entire families with children experiencing homelessness and unaccompanied adults ages 18-24. Currently, Harford Family House has the capacity to serve 28 families at one time. But, the need in Harford County is dire – there are still more than 150 families experiencing homelessness in need of services.

“The face of homelessness is not just the drug-addicted man in the city,” says Robin Tomechko, chief executive of Harford Family House. “It is the single mother working two jobs and still struggling to make ends meet. It is the father who, through no fault of his own, had his work hours cut back to the point that he can no longer pay rent and it is the grandmother who suddenly finds herself raising children again.”

Admission for Friday evening is $10, which will provide attendees “first dibs” on more than 1,500 donated purses, including popular brands such as Coach, Michael Kors and Dooney & Bourke. Attendees on Friday will also enjoy refreshments, music and other activities provided by local vendors and receive assistance by some of Harford County’s finest personal shoppers. Admission for Saturday is free. Bags will be awarded to the highest bidder, but a “Cash and Carry” option is available for those who come across an item they would like to purchase outright.

In 2017, Hope in Handbags raised more than $22,000 for families with children experiencing homelessness; this year, the organization hopes to raise $25,000 ¬– the cost of providing support services for one family, for one year.

“Homelessness can happen to anyone – in any region – when you least expect it,” says Tomechko. Supporting events like Hope in Handbags is a fabulous way for the ladies of our community to come together and help others in need while stocking up for the holidays (or just stocking up your own closet!).”

Harford Family House is seeking sponsors, donations of new or gently used handbags for the auction and event volunteers. For more information, contact Heather Lynch, Resource Development Manager, at 410-273-6700 or [email protected]. To purchase tickets for Friday evening, visit

About Harford Family

Harford Family House is the largest provider of transitional housing for families with children experiencing homelessness in Harford County. Other programs include HUD Supportive Housing for families experiencing homelessness where one family member has a disability, Wheels for Work, providing transportation to and from work while helping families work toward car ownership, 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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