Handbags For Habitat Auction: Caring Is Always In Fashion
By Amy Krzanik
Two of the guiding principles of Habitat for Humanity International, which was founded on a farm outside Americus, Georgia in 1976, are community and partnership. Habitat for Humanity of Columbia County (HFHCC) are tapping into both as they gear up for the group’s first fundraising auction. On Thursday, Jan. 18 at 6 p.m., the organization will partner with Meissner’s Auction House in New Lebanon, New York for a handbag auction to benefit HFHCC’s WomenBuild New Lebanon program.
The program, in which the leadership and volunteer work is done by women, will begin rehabbing an existing structure on County Route 13 at the end of January. A construction skills course will be held this Friday, Jan. 12 for those who wish to be trained as crew leaders. Since the project is a rehab and not a new build, weather is not an issue as the site will be enclosed. If you’re interested, the project is still looking for crew leaders and other volunteers.
As for the purses, Sara McWilliams, HFHCC board member and one of three co-chairs of WomenBuild New Lebanon, says the fundraiser follows another of Habitat for Humanity’s principles — sustainability. You’ve witnessed this principle first hand if you’ve visited one of HFH’s ReStore shops, where you can find everything from gently used furniture and appliances to surplus building materials and paint. McWilliams, who participated in the first WomenBuild New Lebanon project in 2008 (this month’s will be the group’s second project), says handbag donations have come from all over the country, having been solicited by the group’s large steering committee of primarily of New Lebanon women.
“We have carefully curated, primarily name brand bags,” says McWilliams, “as well as a few quite beautiful bags that were made in Italy. Brands include Kate Spade, Coach, Valentino, Prada, Bottega and Dooney & Bourke, and we have a great assortment of primarily vintage evening bags. The selection includes a mix of style and price, but we think every bag is one someone would want.”
In the Habitat spirit, auctioneer Dolores Meissner is donating her space, her auctioneering skills and the services of her staff for the special event. Admission is $10 admission, and for that you’ll be able to enjoy wine and hors d’oeuvres, a receive a $5 coupon that can be used toward the purchase of a bag.
McWilliams says there also will be a table of $15 handbags, a sort of grab-and-go in case you’d like to support the event, but are pressed for time and can’t stay for the auction. You can purchase tickets in advance online or by calling the Columbia County Habitat office at (518) 828-0892. Tickets will also be available at the door.