We’ve all seen photos, heard stories, or seen them on T.V. – Extravagant charity events that the rich and famous attend to have an amazing time (normally in an amazing venue) and give back! Think Gossip Girl parties hosted by the one and only Lily Vanderwoodson. I’m all about the giving back and definitely all about a good party but by no means am I part of the “rich and famous” posse. So, until last weekend, I didn’t think that the philanthropic ball life was for me. WRONG. It is amazing and my little broke self was still able to give back, and have an amazing time! I’m here to tell you to try the same.
My First Event – Marbles Imagination Ball
I was lucky enough to snag a couple tickets the Imagination Ball at Marbles Kids Museum through work! I was a little nervous about showing up for an event with little to give but we made it work, were able to contribute and had the best time! This event was the perfect intro to philanthropy. Hosted at a kids museum, the event was complete with face painters, fairy hair, a silent auction, and an absolutely fantastic band. There was even a parade with glowsticks and glasses (Those goofy pictures you see below – The results of that parade). The event raised of $150,000 for scholarships to send kids to amazing summer camps that normally wouldn’t be able to! This event was one of a kind but I cannot wait to go back and I will definitely be on the lookout for more like it! See you there?
I pulled together a few tricks for how to get in, dress up, have fun, and most of all – contribute to amazing causes! Philanthropy isn’t only for the rich folks guys. We broke folk can do it too and in the fun, fancy way!
How to get in:
So you heard about this amazing event? Now what?
- Buy a Ticket – If you’re going to donate money, this is the place to do it! These are usually the most expensive part of charity events but remember that most of what you’re paying is going to straight to whatever cause you’re supporting. If the ticket price is just too much, there are plenty of other ways to get in. I was lucky enough to snag my ticket to this event through work who was sponsoring. There are usually plenty of ticket giveaways hosted on social media and the radio too! Keep your eyes and ears open and you’ll stumble on one somewhere. If not, that leads me to #2!
- Volunteer – If you can’t score a ticket to the event or don’t have the means to fork up the entire price of a ticket, look for a volunteering opportunity! A lot of the time, you can sign up for a quick volunteering shift and enjoy the party when you’re finished. Set up shifts are also an awesome option. Once you volunteer the first time, you’re also bound to get asked back so this is a sure fire way to score a ticket more than once! You’re into the event and donating your time with this little trick!
What to wear:
Do you remember how excited you used to get to pick out a dress for prom? That was my excitement level when i snagged this ticket!
- Oldie but Goodie – This is the route I took for the Imagination Ball. The event had a dress code of “creative cocktail” so I dug through my closet for something fitting that exact description. The dress I came up with was perfect and even served as my inspiration for my face paint later in the night! You know you’ve been to a few weddings and events and I know you bought a dress or two specifically for those that is now sitting in a dark corner of your closet. A charity event is the perfect reason to unearth that little sparkly dress you splurged on or even that gown in the corner you haven’t tried on since high school homecoming! Dig through that closet of yours to find the perfect look
- Rent the Runway – So you didn’t find anything to wear in your closet? Been there. I’ve also been the girl to go searching for a perfect outfit, spend $200 and wear the dress for a few hours and never touch it again. If you are this person LISTEN UP. Rent the Runway is perfect for you. You can snag a dress you are absolutely love for like 1/8 of the price! Get on the site, find something you love and it’ll ship right to your door in just a few days! They’ll even send multiple sizes if you’re worried about it. RTR is ideal for the really fancy events!
How to give:
Every little bit counts y’all. I’m talking about every penny! So if you only have a few bucks to throw in then do that. If you have a couple hundred to spare and you feel good about the cause – go for it!
- Offering other services – It isn’t all about the cold hard cash! I mentioned volunteering already and that is an amazing way to give to the cause without actually touching your own bank account. Other things could include donating something! Most of these events host auctions. Could you donate a piece of art or an old gift card to a restaurant you’ll never go to. There has to be something you already have or could make that you can pass on for whatever cause it may be! Reach out to the event host to see what they need. I guarantee you will find a perfect fit
- Give what you can – This is what we did. There was a silent auction at the ball and I would have loved to bid on the 2,000 dollar trip to the Bahamas or the year long gym membership but that just couldn’t happen. We did, however, find a basket of super cute and quirky Raleigh themes tees, glasses, and stickers that totally within our means. It was fun to participate in the auction too! Kind of a rush when someone outbids you! We ended up walking away with the basket for $35. Is that enough to send a kid to camp or cure cancer. Nope. But it is so much better than nothing. So maybe you can’t give as much as others but you can splurge on the bottle of wine they’re selling or bid on a fun little item. Every single penny adds up to that final amount they flash at the end of the night. So feel good about your contribution no matter what size it is.
So that’s it guys. My advice for showing up to big time charity event and having the absolute time of your life while most likely making someone else’s better too. Try it y’all. Find an event near you and check it out. If you’re headed to an event near Raleigh, let me know!