Cathy Ashby the executive director of the House of Lazarus on the left and Lisa Williams owner of Main Street Clothing in Winchester were ready to kick off a great community event in Winchester called Purses with a Purpose on Fri., Nov. 4. Morin Photo

WINCHESTER – In typical fashion, the House of Lazarus, (HOL), and Main Street Clothing have once more come up with a great idea enjoyed and appreciated by everyone.

On Fri., Nov. 4, the HOL held their Purses with a Purpose event in partnership with Main Street Clothing at the Joel Steele Community Centre in Winchester.

More than 200 people came to the event, which featured an auction looked after by auctioneer Flora Dumouchel.

The evening out included cocktails and hor d’oeuvres, shopping and silent auction items, the Main Street Clothing fashion show, an auction of gently used purses at different prices, and then an auction of five designer purses.

The event had a great deal of support from local business and North Dundas residents.

Executive director of HOL, Cathy Ashby said, “We made $15,000 at our Purses with a Purpose event. We are so thankful for all of the support from our community to make this event such a success. Together we are making a difference by helping the vulnerable among us.”

The event was a great way to showcase the many programs the House of Lazarus offers.

Those programs include a Back to Work program. HOL takes referrals from employment services for those who need help getting appropriate clothing for a job interview. The Dundas County Housing Initiative is all about having a community where everyone has a safe and affordable place to live, a community advocating for affordable housing. Heat for the Holidays is a partnership between HOL and Community Food Share that partner with BMR to bring ECO Energy Logs to several food bank families. Another program is called Hope Bags for the Homeless. The program is a three- phase program that allows HOL to supply essential belongings, a list of resources, food bags and shelter related items to those in need.

HOL’s Drop-in Centre program helps to provide breakfast and social outings to people. The events are open to everyone. The drop in includes a free breakfast, an opportunity to socialize, presentations and a place to get information about local services and resources.

Neighbours Helping Neighbours is another great program that brings resources to people who need them. The Handyman Hero program brings licensed tradespeople together with families in need of home renovations and the Dinner of the House program is a weekly community meal held at the Winchester United Church every Thursday between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. The dinner is a drop in and sit down type of dinner. HOL also has the Places for People program that helps residents find affordable housing, Operation Backpack, that provides healthy food for students to eat on weekends.