(April 25, 2017)  - U.S. Bank’s Handbags for Hope Purse Auction presented by Erie Insurance will be held June 8th at the Knicely West Conference Center (2355 Nashville Road, Bowling Green). During this silent and live auction of designer purses, attendees are treated to hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar and a selection of over 50 items to bid on throughout the evening. All proceeds will benefit United Way’s Kindergarten Readiness programs.

United Way of Southern Kentucky established the Handbags for Hope fundraising event in 2014 as a way to bring women all over Southern Kentucky together for a night of fun that also raises dollars for Kindergarten Readiness. In its first three years, the event has raised more than $80,000 to help prepare children across the Barren River Area for kindergarten success. In 2017, the goal is to have 400 in attendance at the event to raise an additional $60,000 for Kindergarten Readiness programs.

Currently, only 50% of local children are ready for kindergarten on day one. However, United Way of Southern Kentucky has set a bold goal of increasing that number to 75% by the year 2020.  In order to accomplish this goal, United Way of Southern Kentucky, in partnership with U.S. Bank and Erie Insurance, invites all of Southern Kentucky to join in this fight to give all children in our community the best start for a successful future. By supporting this event, individuals are supporting Kindergarten Readiness programs that will impact a child’s most critical period of intellectual development from birth to the age of five. The quality early learning opportunities that will be provided as a result of this support will have a significant influence on the lives of many local children, preparing them to learn, grow and succeed.

A portion of the proceeds from the event will be used to educate parents on how they can better prepare their children for day one via an awareness campaign to show parents easy ways they can read, play, count, and log off with their children. By visiting MyChildisReady.com, parents can find an evaluation tool to gauge their child’s readiness for day one, as well as more information into the science behind the importance of each action (read, play, count, log off) and benchmarks/ milestones to judge their child’s progression towards readiness.

For those who are unable to attend the event but would still like to support kindergarten readiness efforts, you can text the keyword READY to 41444 to make a donation to support United Way’s Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library which puts books in the hands of local children to assist in fostering a love for reading, better preparing children for kindergarten. All children from newborn to age five are eligible to register for the program in Allen, Barren, Butler, Edmonson, Hart, Logan, Metcalfe, Monroe, and Warren Counties. Once registered, each child will receive one age-appropriate book mailed directly to their home each month until the age of five free of charge to the families. Upon texting READY to 41444, instructions will be sent on how you can direct your donation to a specific county.

For more information on how you can purchase tickets or provide sponsorship for U.S. Bank’s Handbags for Hope presented by Erie Insurance, call 270-843-3205 or email eharbaugh@uwsk.org. Tickets are limited and will sell out.

For more information about United Way’s work in Kindergarten Readiness, visit the United Way website at LIVEUNITEDToday.com.

United Way of Southern Kentucky (UWSK) is a local, independent, non-profit organization that works to identify and address the issues that matter most, change conditions and improve lives. The mission of United Way of Southern Kentucky is to be the leader in bringing together the resources to build a stronger, more caring community. United Way is focused on the building blocks for good quality of life – Education, Income, Health and Safety Net. Therefore, the vision of United Way is a Southern Kentucky where all residents are educated, healthy, and financially stable. Incorporated as a charitable non-profit entity in 1956, UWSK has long served a major role in the community by bringing people together to create opportunities that make a measurable difference in the quality of life for people where they live and work.