Hannah PRC celebrates ‘Christmas in July’ with online auction

The Hannah Pregnancy Resource Center is urging the community to celebrate “Christmas in July” by participating in the nonprofit’s annual online auction fundraiser which begins next week.

Melinda Verdesca, who works in resource development for the Hannah PRC, said funds raised will go to the center’s general operating budget to enable women to receive services free of charge.

“It’s about making sure that all the services that women who come here receive are free,” Verdesca said.

The online auction started as an annual event in 2015. After being canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it resumed last year.

The auction will go live on the Hannah PRC website at 8 a.m. next Wednesday July 13 and will continue until 8 a.m. Monday July 18. By Wednesday afternoon, more than 200 items had been donated for the auction by local individuals and businesses, Verdesca said.

“Right now I’m categorizing everything that’s happening,” Verdesca said Wednesday. “We have a really wide variety of items…It’s truly a heartwarming show of community support.”

Items up for auction range from a gravel truck and heat and air services to a $400 necklace and other fashion accessories, among many others.

“I think there’s something for everyone,” Verdesca said.

The Hannah PRC offers a wide range of services for women and mothers in Union, Ouachita and Columbia counties. A nurse is able to provide ultrasounds, some counseling services, and testing for pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Parenting and life skills classes are offered through the Earn While You Learn program, where women set goals and take classes in parenting, family life, and even general life skills to earn. points that can be spent on necessities for their children at Hannah PRC’s Baby Boutique.

Earlier this year, the Hannah PRC also added a Mommy Shop, where pregnant women can also use the points they earn to buy maternity clothes.

The center has a Rehabilitation and Outreach Coordinator who works with Union County Jail inmates as they prepare for release and eventual family reunification. Verdesca said the Hannah PRC also works with women recovering from addiction.

“We are here to serve women regardless of anything,” she said.

According to information provided by the Hannah PRC, in 2021 the center served 300 clients in over 1,300 visits.

The online auction is one of three major fundraisers the nonprofit organization holds each year, Verdesca said.

“The online auction is a chance for local businesses to participate,” she said. “It’s their chance to say we support women in the community.”

She said the nonprofit can continue to accept donations of items for the auction until Tuesday, July 12. Once the auction opens next Wednesday, attendees can place bids on any of the countless items up for grabs, and if they’re outbid, they’ll be notified, Verdesca says.

“At 8 (am) on Monday the 18th it will close and at that time if they have the highest bid they will automatically be notified so they can pay electronically or they can walk in and pay cash or by check, whatever they want,” she said.

Some auction items may be redeemed, and for others, the Hannah PRC will provide the winning bidder with a certificate containing information on how to redeem their item or service.

Verdesca encouraged the community to check out the auction next Wednesday by clicking the “Auction” button on the Hannah PRC website; and in the meantime, to check out the nonprofit’s Facebook page, where it’s previewing some of the auction listings this week.

“The things we have are fun things, it’s fun bidding and maybe getting a deal, and for us it’s very heartening to see so many individual businesses giving what they can. to help women they’ll never meet, but they care about and want to help us meet their needs,” Verdesca said. “We really want people to jump on it and check it out.”

For more information on the auction, visit facebook.com/HannahPRC or hannahprc.com.

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