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New Hope for Families Shelter to celebrate fourth annual Hope for the Holidays tree auction


Local unhoused shelter New Hope for Families will welcome Bloomington to the fourth annual Hope for the Holidays Tree Extravaganza and Auction from 4-8 p.m. Nov. 15-17 at Switchyard Park.  

Sponsored by Catalent, the celebration will invite visitors to view more than 60 elaborate holiday trees decorated by local businesses, organizations and families. Guests can walk around to explore the ornate decorations while enjoying hot chocolate and cookies.  

“It’s just an amazing time to kick off the season,” Sherry Dunbar-Kruzan, New Hope board member and event co-chair, said.  

Local businesses such as Goods for Cooks, O’Child Children’s Boutique, Mirth, TASUS, Board and Brush, Morgenstern Books, Cardinal Spirits, Iron Pit Gym and several others have decorated and donated trees for the event. Dunbar-Kruzan said some trees are geared towards kids — like the Harry Potter themed tree she saw a few years ago. Other trees, like this year’s bourbon tree, are decorated with items for adults to enjoy.  

Each of the displayed trees will be available for purchase at a set “Buy it Now” price throughout the week. At the end of the three-day event, any remaining trees will be sold during a live auction at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 17. New Hope for Families will offer a free delivery service to transport purchased, fully decorated trees to any address in Bloomington.  

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The auction will feature beer and wine, along with refreshments from Pili’s Party Taco Truck. On Nov. 17., a children’s choir from Sherwood Oaks Christian Church will perform at 5:30 p.m., Dunbar-Kruzan said.  

All proceeds from the event will be donated to New Hope families experiencing homelessness. New Hope for Families is the only temporary emergency shelter in Monroe County that houses both adults and children, allowing families to stay together.  

“We want kids to stay with their families,” Dunbar-Kruzan said. “That's their connection. They're going to grow better. Everything about them is going to be better if we keep them with their families.”  

She said it’s been encouraging to see how the project has grown over the years. Originally, the fundraiser only featured 15 trees in a small venue in downtown Bloomington. Now, this year’s event is the biggest yet.  

“The community has stood behind us and jumped on board year after year,” Dunbar-Kruzan said. “We're really blessed to have so many people that just want to be involved.”  

Amy Stolberg, another board member and co-chair of the event, said she joined New Hope’s board after feeling frustrated that she didn’t know how to help the unhoused community in Bloomington. Stolberg said New Hope’s mission — to provide shelter for families, as well as early childhood care and education — spoke to her.  

“I got involved with New Hope because they are already experts in providing services to families experiencing homelessness,” Stolberg said. “I knew all my money, time, efforts and volunteering, all of that would stay local. We were directly helping families experiencing homelessness and even preventing homelessness.”  

For Stolberg, Hope for the Holidays is the perfect way for guests to enter into the generous holiday spirit. She noted that guests can purchase trees not only for themselves, but can also donate trees to New Hope families in Bloomington who recently moved into a new home.  

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“Once you get there and the music is playing and all these pretty trees are around, it does motivate you to get in the Christmas spirit,” Stolberg said. “Seeing how much these community members and businesses are donating for this event really gets you in the spirit of giving and decorating. It's kind of inspiring that way.”  

Stolberg said many of the items on each tree are handmade, and companies spend weeks perfecting their holiday trees. Each year, she said she’s shocked by the creativity she sees from businesses as they set up their displays.  

“It’s very relaxing, it’s very festive,” Stolberg said. “Come grab a hot chocolate.”  

The event is family-friendly and free to the public. For most convenient parking, guests are encouraged to enter the park through the west entrance on South Rogers Street. New Hope invites IU college students to volunteer to help transport purchased trees during the event.  

More details on the event can be found on New Hope for Families’ website.  

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