Friday, July 16, 2010

Is the Party Over?

by: Eleanor Leichenko

The countdown to March 1st has come and gone. The party…well, the party was fabulous. So is this food loving, kid-motivated non-profit now on padlock until the next World Festival rolls around? Most definitely not!
As an organization we continue to hold true to our mission in educating kids in urban communities about healthy, nutritious eating, and opening their eyes to the world around them. Every year we strive to better our fundraising efforts to be able to support our mission in working to enhance our after-school programming, along with introducing new ways to help the kids in the communities we serve to start taking action in their daily food choices, and working to educate their families on the importance of health and physical well-being.
Every day in our programming we work to plant a seed within our ‘mini-chefs’, and empower them with life changing skills. To be able to take a piece of produce, or any ingredient, and turn it into a life-sustaining meal is quite a skill. I always think about the families of our kids…of what neighborhoods they come from…of what their home life is like. I think about how well they do in their academics, or if they’re good at sports, but really once they’re in the kitchen, none of that matters. All of the kids come to the after-school programming on pretty much the same level playing field. They’ve either had little to no experience in the kitchen, and are really, really skeptical. It’s such a transformation 6-8 weeks into the programming to see how far the kids have come, and to know that we can trace back the ability to empower our kids to the fundraising efforts we hold throughout the year.
Perhaps not every supporter of Common Threads knows that there is more beyond the buzz of the annual gala. Or to that extent, what our fundraising efforts allow us to provide to the kids we serve in our programs.
I would love if every donor and/or party-goer could experience firsthand how much their donations mean in enabling us to fulfill our mission. Our fundraising efforts are a celebration of all that we know how to do best. Is that event planning? Not really. What it is, is a passion to be able to provide more substance in our programming and to our kids.
Our World Festival efforts this year have been the greatest to date…will we strive for more next year? Definitely.
The party is definitely not over…the party has actually only just begun.

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