Last year COVID-19 concerns prompted widespread cancellations of annual events, including Dining for Hope — the annual fundraiser for Hope’s Voice.

But organizers say they found a way to bridge the gap last spring, moving from an in-person dining event to an online auction.

The online event — Bidding for Hope — was such a success, Hope’s Voice decided to stick with the platform again this year.

“We raised over $10,000 from Bidding for Hope last year,” said Cathy Bush, the outreach coordinator for the organization.

Hope’s Voice — with offices in Knox and Daviess Counties — provides assistance to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, including crisis counseling, safety planning, and advocacy.

In addition to in-person services, they also offer a 24-hour hotline.

And when a survivor makes the decision to leave the abusive household, they often find themselves at the doorstep of Hope’s Voice.

Once there, the person is met by a trained advocate and is given some respite in the comforting, home-like setting of the facility until they can be connected with a shelter or other resources.

It has all the amenities one would find inside any ordinary household: a laundry room, a fully stocked kitchen, a shower and new clothes.

But all of these resources come with a cost, and Bush says Hope’s Voice relies significantly on the annual fundraising to carry on in its mission.

“This is the only fundraiser we have every year to raise money for our programs,” she said, adding that it is a necessity to keep Hope’s Voice eligible for other revenue streams, such as federal matching grants.

“It’s really important so we can continue our work, and we’re so grateful to our local businesses and community members for donating and supporting what we do,” Bush said.

That outpouring of support was clearly visible in the conference room of Hope’s Voice Tuesday afternoon, as every corner of the room held donated treasures for the online auction: tickets to everything from Holiday World to a Colts football game, numerous gift cards for massages and meals, as well as a giant summer fun basket for kids, complete with a water balloon launcher and miniature piñata.

Bush says of the nearly 50 packages up for bid, “there truly is something for everyone — from a Ring security doorbell to a Piper diamond ring,” she said.

Bush says participants must register, which includes supplying a valid credit card number, but assures residents that the site is secure and accounts will not be charged unless an individual submitted the winning bid for an item.

The online auction begins Friday at 4 p.m. and closes June 11 at 6 p.m. Those interested in perusing or bidding on items can do so by visiting hopesvoice.home.qtego.net.

For more information, call Hope’s Voice at 812-886-4470 or find them on Facebook.

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