No one can deny that the economy has hit charities especially hard this year. Donations are down significantly, and now that winter has hit the cold regions, the number of people who are homeless and hungry is up significantly due to lost jobs and people coming off unemployment. Fundraising has never been more difficult, but there are some creative events out there that are gaining attention and support.
STRIDE is an organization in Denver, Colorado that helps families get on the road to self sufficiency by providing quality affordable housing. Cindy Bradley, a chair person with the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, is an avid supporter and fundraiser for STRIDE. “We needed something fun and different to get people out, an event that would really get everybody excited.” A local collector of antique cars offered to donate his huge garage and display his impressive auto collection to provide the atmosphere for the event they called “Gary’s Garage.”
You’d think the mile-high winter weather would discourage participation among antique auto collectors who are generally known to be reluctant to take pristine cars out in inclement weather. Then again, what’s the point of having a “cherry” machine if you can’t show it off? Car club members love to rally together for a good cause, and they all have classic auto insurance to cover mishaps. So, the food tables were set up right there in Gary’s garage, which was spotless and fully heated. The autos were the perfect backdrop for a beer and bratwursts gathering. STRIDE charged admission and held a silent auction. “We auctioned a lot of “man candy” to get the guys bidding,” Cindy explained. “Power tools and golf clubs, stuff like that.” This fundraiser is just one example of how a creative idea, with enough volunteers behind it, can make a difference for people in need.