BATESVILLE – Safe Passage, Inc. will host its Handbags for Hope purse auction fundraiser online this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The auction will launch between 10 and 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 8, on Facebook Live and will close at noon on Saturday, Aug. 15. Register for the auction online at www.safepassageinc.org or https://safep2020.ggo.bid.

“The dollars raised with this event help our clients in a number of ways, whether in shelter or through our non-residential/outreach programming,” Safe Passage Community Outreach Director Mary Mattingly said. “We might fill a gas tank for a client who needs to get to court, provide a week’s worth of groceries or a housing deposit for a safer residence. When resources are limited, there are often obstacles that can keep a victim from leaving or establishing a safer environment, and we will step in to help with various support, should it be legal advocacy, children’s programming, job assistance, counseling and support group.”

All proceeds from the auction will benefit Safe Passage.

“Safe Passage is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide help, healing and hope to build a community free of domestic and sexual violence,” Mattingly said. “Through extensive services and support to victims of domestic and sexual violence and innovative community-based prevention programming, we strive to build safe, stable nurturing relationships and communities. It’s a new format, but the same great cause, Safe Passage.”

Those interested may view purses at Batesville Memorial Public Library throughout the auction dates. Winning bidders may pick up the purses at the library.

Safe Passage, a nonprofit 501c3 organization, serves six counties in southeast Indiana including Ripley, Franklin, Jefferson, Ohio, Switzerland and Dearborn Counties.

Safe Passage has put on the Handbags for Hope auction fundraiser in Batesville for eight years and offered it in Brookville for three years. The organization was about to implement the auction in Dearborn County, but COVID-19 altered its plans.

Safe Passage, Inc. was established in 1997 and has helped over 16,000 victims and children leave violent environments.

“On average we serve over 1,200 victims and their children through either the shelter, the 24/7 helpline or the nonresidential outreach programming. It’s life-saving work, and we are all in this together to create safer communities,” Mattingly said.

Safe Passage’s 24/7 Helpline may be reached at 1-877-733-1990. All services are free and confidential.

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