The United Way of East Mississippi is auctioning off handbags and more as a way to promote early childhood literacy. This Thursday at the MSU Riley Center, the organization will host its 4th annual Power of the Purse auction.
“We have purses of all types. We have boutiques. We have faux. We have vintage bags, brand new bags, designer and high end. We have a Prada this year, so we’re excited about that,” said Mindy Aust, the auction's chairperson.
Event proceeds will go towards the organization’s Dolly Parton Imagination Library reading program.
Roughly 4,000 children from local counties participate in the program, in which each child gets a free book each month.
“They are to receive books from the time they’re born to five years old,” said Aust.
Within the past three years, the auction has generated a total of $75,000. This year, the organization hopes that amount will increase to over $100,000.
“Just your ticket alone is $30. That is a sponsorship for one child per year. So by just buying a ticket, you’re sponsoring a child,” said Aust.
She explained why funding the reading program is so important.
“If a child can read by the time they’re in kindergarten, it takes them places. So it just helps them to get that book in their hand and go places later on in life.”
The auction begins at 6 pm and doors open at 5:30. Tickets can be purchased at Anderson’s Pharmacy, Cater’s Market, K Salon & Spa, and Simply Irresistible in Quitman.