By Brenda L. Holmes firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — Beacon of Hope, a domestic violence center of the Westside of Indianapolis, is gearing up for its annual purse auction fundraiser in recognition of this being Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
BOH Executive Director Terry Moore said she has been busy throughout the month speaking to various groups to bring awareness to the cause.
“We received a call on Wednesday from a caseworker at Wishard Hospital,” she said. “He was asking about our foster pet program.”
BOH helps people fleeing from abusive relationships find foster families for their pets.
The phone call came from case manager Robert McClure. He was trying to find a place for a client’s pet.
“He told us the story of his client and how she was abandoned,” Moore said.
She said the elderly woman and her 8-year-old chihuahua had been taken to an abandoned house and left.
“A neighbor of the abandoned home went over to check on her because she had been sitting in her wheelchair for hours,” Moore said. “She was stark naked. She had no food or water and was sitting in her own feces.”
The authorities were called and the woman was taken by ambulance to Wishard Hospital where she is recovering. Her dog was taken to animal control and scheduled to be euthanized on Oct. 14.
The client reportedly told McClure that if her dog was put to sleep, she would just as soon die as well.
“Our pet coordinator sprang into action and found a foster home for the animal,” Moore said. “She is meeting with the woman personally to get the paper work signed and then going to get the dog out of animal control.”
Moore said McClure found enough community support for this client that she’ll soon be in her own apartment and will be able to be reunited with her dog. She added that the woman’s son was arrested because of the incident.
“I’ve been invited to go and meet her when she’s reunited with her dog,” Moore said. “I just can’t wait. Robert said we helped save two lives this week and for that I’m very proud.”
The agency is also preparing for the sixth annual Handbags for Hope, a live and silent action event, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 9 at The Marten House Hotel and Lily Conference Center, 1801 W. 86th St. Tickets are $35 per person or $280 for a table of eight.
“Each guest brings a new or gently used purse filled with items that women would like to use every day,” Moore said. “Other attendees will be bidding on the purses they bring. We ask that items inside the purses be new and not visible from the outside of the purse.”
Purse registration runs from 11 to 11:50 a.m. The luncheon be at noon and the live auction is from 1 to 3 p.m.
“Keeping the items inside a secret is what makes it exciting,” Moore said. “You just never know what’s going to be inside. Last year, we had a woman graciously donate a big purse with a (computer) Notebook inside.”
Filler ideas for the purses include chocolates, candy, makeup, gift cards, nail polish, books, and technology items.
This is the first year the event has been at The Marten House.
“We out grew our last facility,” Moore said. “This event is very popular. Last year, it was a sold out crowd of 150 people.”
This year’s title sponsor is PNC Bank.
The guest speaker for the event is Dawn Brumley. She is the mother of Brittany March who was murdered by her abuser four years ago. She was just 18 at the time. Her abuser, Corey Dix, 19, then committed suicide.
To make reservations for Handbags for Hope, call Beacon of Hope at 731-6131.