Unique no-money fundraiser, Give Gala, comes to Raleigh

While many charities revolve around monetary donations, one North Carolina event aims to do something a bit different.

image courtesy of The Give Gala

What if you could donate not just money, but skills, talent, or a gift to benefit a good cause? It would seem that many would jump at the opportunity to help those in need. Providing what you can is sometimes more beneficial than simply writing a check. It also allows the giver to volunteer and work hands on with those they are helping. This innovative, no-money charity concept comes to Raleigh November 11th in the form of the Give Gala Event which benefits patients and families at Duke and UNC Children’s Hospital. The ticket into the gala is a service, talent or gift offered which is collected at registration. Offers are then matched with patients and families. The event is hosted by Headbands of Hope, a charity that for every headband sold, a child with cancer gets a headband, and The Monday Life, a non-profit that aims to bring the best healing environment to every hospitalized child on the plant by a simple $1 donation each Monday. Jess Ekstrom, the event organizer, had grown tired of the usual money-based charity event. While still beneficial, Ekstrom collaborated with Joey McMahon, founder of The Monday Life and thought outside the box – “Joey and I founded Give Gala with the idea that simple acts of giving go a long way, we wanted to remind everyone that giving comes in so many forms outside of dollar amounts. “Those acts of giving include cooking classes, yoga, tutoring, free dental, haircuts and even photography sessions. Another unique way those can contribute is lending a weekend away to families at a beach or mountain home. The opportunities are endless, and that’s one aspect that makes Give Gala so unique. It’s not just your usual concept of writing a check and moving on, but an opportunity to form lasting relationships with those you are helping. Ekstrom noted this unique concept, “We hope when we build these connections we also build relationships. If someone offers to donate their roller skates, maybe that person will also go roller skating with the patient. And we also want people to think of giving differently. Even if you don’t have funds to donate, doesn’t mean you can’t give in other ways and help.”Headbands of Hope was founded in Raleigh while The Monday Life was founded in Durham. With close ties to the Triangle area, they wanted to host the event here first, but are open to future offers from other counties. The Give Gala event is black tie attire and includes food, drink, live music and interactive games. There will be a #selfie booth with backdrop by Spoonflower, gourmet sandwiches from Pharmacy Cafe sponsored by OrderUp, open bar as well as a Trader Joe’s juice and cider bar. While the event only lasts one night, the impact lasts a lifetime. Give Gala will take place Friday, November 11 from 8:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. at the Marbles Kids Museum in downtown Raleigh.For details, updates, and more information visit the Give Gala Facebook Page