As most of us look forward to the holidays, family gatherings, delicious meals, and gifts tucked under the tree, some are seeking help to escape domestic violence. In Santa Fe, the place they turn to for help is Esperanza Shelter. We, on the other hand, are who Esperanza Shelter turns to for help so they can continue to provide essential services for their clients. One very popular way of doing so is by taking part in the Annual Holiday Trees of Hope Auction.
From Sunday, November 20, through Wednesday, November 30, bidding will be open on ten beautifully decorated trees, donated by a generous and creative group of local businesses and organizations. Each tree’s theme is selected by the donor, so expect to see some lively choices, each reflecting the donor’s sensibilities. There will also be a tree decorated by the children of the Seeds Program, with the theme Visions of Sugar Plumbs, which is sure to be the centerpiece of the event.
“This is the only event of its kind in Santa Fe,” said Esperanza Executive Director Anji Estrellas. “Esperanza means hope, and we really feel like, especially during the holiday season, offering this bright light and hope to all the survivors we serve is a very nice metaphor for how they enter our services to heal and rebuild. The community support for our agency and mission is just amazing. We’re always so grateful.”
Another plus is that this is only the third year for the event, but the first year in-person. “We were still doing it remotely, last year, because of Covid concerns,” Anji said. “We’re hoping that, because this year our event is in-person, people will bring their families out to look at the trees and think about the kind of hope something like this provides. There will even be a special tree there that the children from our shelter program are creating. I think that will be a really fun and beautiful tree, not just to look at, but to own.”
The trees will be available to view in person at the Drury Plaza Hotel at 828 Paseo de Peralta from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from November 20 to 30. While there, you can scan a QR code to bid online for your favorite tree. You can also view the trees online rather than in person. If you don’t want to take a chance missing out on your favorite tree, you can choose a “buy it now” option. Last year, every tree sold out.
Bidding closes November 30 and the lucky winners will have the trees delivered directly to their front door on December 2 or 3!
About Esperanza Shelter
For 46 years, Esperanza has been the only domestic violence shelter in Santa Fe County. Esperanza’s trauma informed services include safe emergency shelter, advocacy, counseling, substance abuse counseling, adult and child therapy, child life skills groups, parenting classes, community navigation, court advocacy, outreach/education, and psycho-educational groups for both survivors and offenders.
The proceeds for this event go toward general operating costs of the shelter, to pay the bills and keep the lights on. “This is our biggest event of the year, in terms of fundraising,” Anji said pointing out that because of the type of work being done at the shelter, those operating funds are vital. You can give that support by buying, or bidding on a tree, or making a cash donation through their website. There are other ways to help, as well.
“We have a robust volunteer program,” Anji said. “Our website explains all of our programming, but of course there are always opportunities to donate. We always except in-kind donations of gift certificates. Many times, survivors come to us with just the clothes on their backs. We have a hope and comfort fund, and part of that is gift cards for things like gas for their car, a new cell phone that can’t be traced, clothes for themselves and the children. That’s why gift cards are so important. They go directly to survivors to meet their emergency needs. We need them for places like grocery stores, Walmart, Ross, Target, gas stations, that type of thing.”
To learn more about Esperanza, their needs, and their fundraiser, visit their website. Good luck on the tree bidding!
This article was posted by David Salcido