Time: Wednesday, April 10 (mid-DO GOOD Week)
Destination: Philanthrodating at Imperial Charlotte
Objective: Do GOOD
6:00 p.m. EST
I have arrived at my destination, right on schedule. I encounter Brandon Keeny at the registration table. My sources tell me he represents one of the co-hosting organizations for the event, Guys with Ties. He’s putting the finishing touches on the registration table. Everything looks good so far. I signed up ahead of time, so entry to the event is simple.
6:05 p.m. EST
I’m in. Time to scope out the area. The Imperial Charlotte is a beautiful location in the heart of Charlotte, off North College St. Most importantly, they were willing to supply their gorgeous space for this GOOD event. I acquire water from the friendly bartender. Moving on.
6:30 p.m. EST
People are trickling in. I run into Laurie Berzack, owner of Carolinas Matchmaker. Her company is a co-host of the event as well. Not only does this mixer provide a way for you to give back to local nonprofits, it’s also an outlet for singles to find like-minded individuals and bring them together through doing good. A quick glance at my mission report reminds me of the proper term for the event - Philanthrodating. Clever.
6:45 p.m. EST
I found where all the action is. The event has a great turnout. Attendees are walking around enjoying a drink from Imperial’s impressive selection while meeting new people over table top, volunteer projects, aka they are successfully Philanthrodating.
6:50 p.m. EST
Another co-host of the event, and masterminds behind DO GOOD Week, SHARE Charlotte’s table was the first stop for me.
The SHARE Charlotte team is easily found with their bright green DO GOOD shirts. Chief Storyteller of SHARE Charlotte, Nicole Copsis meets me at the intriguing spinning wheel set up on their table. The wheel is colorful and decorated with cut out images of random items that I will later learn demonstrate unique ways a person can do good with local nonprofits.
I spin the wheel and it lands on an image of cartoon theater masks. Nicole shares about a local nonprofit, The Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, that is in need of volunteers to serve at ushers at their upcoming play performances. She explains that this is a creative way to give back with your time if you have any interest in the performing arts. Hopefully, others had the chance to give it a spin and learn more about the opportunities to give back in the area.
Moving on, there is more good to do here.
7:00 p.m. EST
Next stop, the American Pit Bull Foundation of Charlotte’s table. Today, they are raising awareness for their Operation Sidekick program. Over 22 veterans a day are lost to suicide, which is now the leading cause of death for members of the military, surpassing war. Likewise, over 3,000 Pit Bulls are killed every day. APBF is the first organization to bridge the gap and exclusively train rescued pit bulls as service dogs to help veterans overcome the daily struggle of PTSD and depression.
Attendees are being asked to help make chew toys for the pit bulls in their care. Obviously, making one (or two, or five…) is inevitable- it is so easy to good for this nonprofit.
As a bonus, making one of these toys is a two-person job so it provides the opportunity to rope other people into a conversation. I use the chance to meet Stephen and Jenna, who are both friendly volunteers with the American Pit Bull Foundation, as well as a few other attendees. It is a GOOD time at the American Pit Bull Foundation table, for sure.
7:30 p.m. EST
The Joedance Film Festival table is the next stop. They are asking attendees to make care bags for kids and teens who are currently in the hospital. I learn Joedance raises funds and awareness for pediatric cancer research at Atrium Health Levine Children’s through an annual film festival and supports research and clinical trials for pediatric sarcomas, blastomas, and brain tumors. Making a bag is simple. Getting to write a note for the recipient of my bag is a nice, personal touch. Another act of good made easy.
7:45 p.m. EST
Things begin winding down. So as not to forget the second part of my mission, which was to meet like-minded singles, I spend some time mingling with attendees. A few conversations later, Guys with Ties, SHARE Charlotte, and the Carolina Matchmaker close the event with a few inspiring words and a raffle. Two lucky people walk away with some signed Carolina Panthers merch. Score.
8:00 p.m. EST
Philanthrodating has come to a close so I’m wrapping up this mission report with a few takeaways from the experience:
Doing GOOD while meeting others is not only possible, it’s fun!
There are so many unique ways to give your time, there is something for everyone (i.e. making dog toys, ushering attendees at a play, assembling care packages etc.)
Now that you’ve reached the end of this report, please SHARE and be sure to attend the next Philanthrodating event!