Friday night was prom night.
This past weekend was the culmination of many months of hard work, by many selfless volunteers. It was the first ever Mission of Deeds Dinner/Dance. This is the charity that could, a place completely run by volunteers with only one paid full-time staff member.
This tiny non-profit helps families in need, battered women, former addicts and alcoholics. All of these people have been vetted by social services agencies, and have a proven need for furniture, beds, pots and pans, and anything else you would need to set up a house.
This particular event was to raise money for our new warehouse space. And this is what the new warehouse currently looks like:
We inherited this new space from the old auto parts place next door. The new warehouse expansion will allow us to stage furniture in room-like settings, give us space for a laundry area to clean and store all the linens and bedspreads, and to have an actual conference room to meet in (ever use some spare sofas in a warehouse for a meeting?)
So our dinner was a real labor of love. How to throw something cheaply, yet attract attendees and potential new donors to the charity?
We thought a wine tasting would be great, as it gets people networking and socializing (and OK, liquor can drive the prices of silent auction items up! Please, go have some wine, I insist!) The local wine shop agreed to donate the beverages at cost, and with a little help from the committee members, we had a wine tasting. The Country Club gave us a great deal – a full buffet dinner with half the proceeds going to the Mission. And centerpieces?
We took actual items from the warehouse and gave them a fall theme. No money to spend on flowers, and the items go back to be given to clients. Which is our real mission, right? People loved it!
This is Beth and Celeste, who are the most fun people ever to work with. And we all worked together like a well-tuned clock. It was so amazing to get batches of email and phone calls, and run like the wind getting things done.
Here’s Leo and I with our friend Jill. We were so lucky that all of our neighbors and friends supported us and came out for the evening. Our table collected a nice haul of auction items, including Red Sox tickets, a golf outing, a night at a ski resort, and landscaping services. That made it not only a prom, but Christmas too!
Right now, we don’t have the final tally, but we think we made a significant dent in the building expansion and renovation fund. The charity made many “new friends” that had never heard of them, and are now eager to help in any way they can.
For me, it was fulfilling to be part of such a successful evening. Even more rewarding, was the feeling of giving back to the community in a very real way. Giving locally, especially in these times, it probably one of the best things you can do. Whether is be in a monetary way, or making a donation of used furniture, I know the smallest of gestures can bring great rewards.
As the holidays approach, maybe consider one less Christmas gift, and a possible donation to someplace like Mission of Deeds. You’ll be happy you did!