5 On Your Side

'Party with a purpose' helps connect Raleigh community with nonprofits

Posted December 7, 2016 5:00 p.m. EST
Updated December 7, 2016 5:44 p.m. EST

Parties and giving back are two staples of the holiday season.

A group of women in Raleigh have combined those two ideas to create a unique get together, a "party with a purpose," organizers say.

"We say give until it feels good," Christina Woelffer said, referring to what she and three friends call the Raleigh Giving Party.

Six years in, the friends have helped 24 local nonprofits.

The Raleigh Giving Party hosts the event, and they put people wanting to give back in a room with nonprofits looking for donations or assistance. Then, it's up to each group to sell themselves to guests.

Featured in 2016 were the Autism Society of NC, the Miracle League of the Triangle, Military and Veterans Resource Coalition and Carroll's Kitchen.

Carroll's Kitchen is a grab-and-go-style restaurant that serves breakfast and lunch. Employees are women who are transitioning out of homelessness and learning restaurant skills.

"I've never heard of a giving party," Theresa Garrett, Caroll's Kitchen's program director, said.

Woelffler said those who attend the party are all looking to contribute in different ways.

"Your job is to give, but you don't have to give money, necessarily," she said. "You can give time, talent."

Those invited to the event get a chance to talk face-to-face with representatives from the organizations and connect with people who share their passions. They also get to talk with nonprofit representatives about how the organizations plan to use the money they collect.

"I especially like the fact that it's different nonprofits every year," party guest Jennifer Daniels said.

"If you have all of these different organizations, something will speak to someone," Woelffer said of the variety at the event.

To date, the Raleigh Giving Party has raised more than $23,000.