TAVARES, Fla. (March 16th, 2013) Women from the Lake County community gathered Saturday morning at Adventure Christian Church in Tavares for the 5th Annual Purses of Purpose designer purse auction fundraiser to benefit The Ruth House of Umatilla, Florida. In addition to bidding on high-end purses such as ones from Louis Vuitton, Coach, and Gucci, women also had the opportunity to participate in a raffle before enjoying teatime and guest speaker Anne Mountz with their fellow ladies.
Over the last five years, the growth of The Ruth House Ladies Tea has been “exponential,” according to Ruth House Executive Director Rebecca Randall. Last year the event raised $12,000 to assist in the cost of running Ruth House- a transitional housing facility that helps women facing a life crisis. According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the term Transitional Housing means “a project that is designed to provide housing and appropriate supportive services to homeless persons to facilitate movement to independent living within 24 months.”
The Ruth House does just that and more. Founded in 2007, Ruth House serves between 12 to 30 women a year- depending on each woman’s length of stay. According to Randall, upon arrival to Ruth House, a woman is interviewed to determine the exact nature of her crisis and then a plan of action is set-up to help her eventually “live life on life’s terms” – the motto of Ruth House. Over their six-month to one-year stay, residents participate in individual and group counseling sessions, Bible studies, and receive on-the-job training at the Kinsmen Redeemer Thrift Store in Umatilla.
In addition to the growth of The Ladies Tea, Ruth House has sustained its facilities through the support of local women and churches. For the first time in its history, Ruth House will be officially launching its website within the next two weeks. During the event, Randall also announced that over the next two to three years, a second Ruth House is going to be available to women in crisis.
The current Ruth House is located at 311 S. Central Avenue, Umatilla Florida 32784 and can be reached at (352) 455-3021 for further information about the availability of services offered or on how you can help at Ruth House.
(The final total of funds raised at this year’s event is not yet available. Story will be updated once that information is received).