There is dirty little secret about making donations to charity: it’s fun.
On December 8, 2012 thirty nine friends from all corners of Los Angeles got together in Redondo Beach to celebrate their awareness of this secret. The cast of characters was a rag-tag assembly of twenty-somethings of comfortable yet humble means but eager and willing charitable instincts. Everyone chipped in $10 at the door as well as a unique gift to be sold back to the guests during the live auction part of the evening – all in the name of good fun and good intentions.
Although even more importantly than the gag gifts and Hamiltons, everyone was also asked to come ready to make a public address in support of their favorite charity. Because unlike your parent’s charity events, the guests at this party would choose the recipient of their donations by voting on it, together, after the party is underway. Eleven brave souls came up to the “podium” (read: 3 inch brick base of the fireplace) and made remarkably well researched and equally remarkably emotional monologues about the causes, people, and organizations that work to improve our world.
Although only one would be selected, those 11 organizations were:
I.A.V.A. (supports American veterans of Iraq & Afghanistan)
Special Olympics (supports athletes with intellectual disabilities)
Rolling Jubilee (purchases and forgives medical debt)
Urban Compass (supports after school programs for at risk youth)
Sex & Money (supports efforts to end sex trafficking)
Dan Marino Foundation (supports autism research)
Charlize Theron Africa Outreach (supports women’s empowerment)
Good Shepherd Shelter (supports victims/families of domestic abuse)
C.A.S.A. (supports volunteer advocacy for abused children)
Fair Trade LA (supports the promotion of fair trade in Los Angeles)
Complete Cambodia (supports land mine removal in SE Asia)
After wonderful speeches of support, soul searching, and two rounds of voting; the revelers/donors chose to support Rolling Jubilee. Although there are likely countless organizations worthy of support, it gave the members of the “One Great Night” party great pride to send their support to the men and women of Rolling Jubilee to continue their work of erasing medical debt to improve both our financial system and the everyday lives of those fellow citizens battling with this burden.
Keep up the good work, Rolling Jubilee.
Sincerely – The Crew from One Great Night