A Different Kind of Service

By: Marta Djalleta

September 23, 2015

Today we participated in a different kind of service. Rather than working directly for the cause of the charity, we were behind the scenes working to help fund the organization. Our job was to serve food at a progressive-style dinner, which collected proceeds for Food Outreach. This organization works to provide healthy meals and packaged meals to patients and families who are affected by HIV/AIDS or cancer. The event was held at the Modern Art Museum of St. Louis. Guests spent $100 for a six course meal from six different upscale restaurants in the city. The event was called Dining by Design, which featured a local furniture designer’s tables and chairs. As guests enjoyed their first course, the furniture designer greeted them and told them about his company and the pieces that he brought with him tonight. While the proceeds, were directed to Food Outreach, it was clear that some guests were unaware of where their money was going and many did not care to ask about the organization.

I have previously been to other large upscale non-profit events but this seemed to be the first of its kind. Many of the events that I had previously been to had focused largely on the mission of the non-profit and made it a point to highlight all of the good they have done so far, what they still have left to do, and how those at the event can help them achieve more. At the event tonight, the only mentioning of Food Outreach came from one small poster, and our aprons that had the name written on it.

Despite the fact that this was a third party event, meaning it was not directly organized by Food Outreach, I personally feel like it would have been a lot more effective to have a speaker or a short presentation to educate the guests and make more people aware of their organization that is doing really great things for deserving people. Although Food Outreach got a majority of the proceeds from the night, the event felt like a missed opportunity to gain more donors. Even though the night did not go as I thought it should, it was a great insight to the other side of non-profits. I am very interested in working in the non-profit sector in the near future. Therefore, it was a very useful experience for me to see where a large portion of funds for non-profits derive from.

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