As many of you know, last night was the first annual (we hope!) “To Russia with Love” fundraiser for Mission 1:27. It was an amazing evening of fun, fellowship and food. By all accounts, the evening was a huge success! See the end of this blog post for some pictures of the soiree.
So, “How much money did you raise” you might be asking. Well, we don’t know yet…we think we exceeded all of our expectations from that perspective. But it many ways, it does not matter. Success last night was about much more than raising money – it was about raising awareness, passion and energy for helping our neighbors and friends in Russia.
Here is some evidence of the success from last night:
- A diverse group of 100+ people gathered together as community with one common purpose – to support our Russian friends in Slobodskoy. The place was packed with energy and passion.
- People who had never heard of Mission 1:27 came and asked questions, heard stories and were touched by what God is doing through this ministry.
- Neighbors and local businesses donated packages, tickets, products and services valued at almost $20,000 in support of the mission. All out of the kindness of their hearts without looking for recognition or acclaim.
- We sold out “graduation care packages,” which Mission 1:27 provides for graduating orphans when they leave the orphanage. The packages include a blanket, pillow, set of bed linens and a small tea set. What does that mean? It means that this year, EVERY graduate will have these necessities before they leave the orphanage, giving them some necessary tools for survival and a tangible reminder of the love of their friends in Chapel Hill.
- We sold numerous “Life Skills Lessons” for teenage orphans. These classes will help them learn to cook, shop for groceries, start a checking account and other basic living skills we take for granted. The objective of these classes is to help the young adults encounter a smooth transition from the orphanage to society and independent living.
- We were reminded of the enormous generosity of this community and their willingness to share what they have with others in the world.
- We were reminded of how blessed we are to live where we live, with families that love us and neighbors that care – and our mandate to spread that love to others in the world who need it most.
- Most importantly, 100+ kids in Slobodskoy are going to be blessed from the community’s generosity – not with material things but with the knowledge that they are loved, they are worthy and they are children of God.
You see, by all accounts and every measure, last night was indeed a HUGE success. God will use what was done last night to multiply the efforts of Mission 1:27 and the community. We have been blessed beyond belief – and we are thankful to a loving God from whom all blessings flow.
Big thanks to everyone who played a critical role in the effort including:
- The “To Russia with Love” Planning Committee: Holly W, Patsy S, Kim H, Lawson T, Deanne B, Kristin R and Suzanne H. Amazing women with unbelievable talent, passion and energy. You deserve a big rest today 🙂
- Seth Kingsbury and his wonderful staff at Pazzo! We truly could not have pulled off the event without your great food, hospitality and generosity. There’s a reason you are the most beloved restaurant in the community and last night was evidence of that.
- All those who donated items for the silent auction. For a first time event, we had an amazing “haul” of valuable items to bid on. Thanks to everyone for stepping up.
- And for those of you who attended and/or donated to the cause – THANK YOU!! Your generosity is astounding and your willingness to “love your neighbor” is admirable. God bless each and every one of you for what you are doing for the least of these.
With great admiration and humble appreciation,
Photos from “To Russia with Love” Fundraiser – October 16, 2010