As an event planner for more than 15+ years, I can honestly say that the best part of the event is when it’s OVER! You spend months and months working on seating charts, guest lists, menu selection, thematic details and decorations and then, in a flash, all the hard work comes to fruition and you get to sit back and enjoy it!
I’m excited to share with you that the biggest event of The Next Door’s calendar year just happened! Since 2004, we have had an Annual Benefit Luncheon in the fall, where current and prospective donors are invited to come and enjoy lunch, while hearing about the impact this ministry has on women in our community.
Today, 974 guests (to be exact) attended the 2017 Luncheon, which was called “We are God’s Masterpiece.” Two clients bravely shared their testimonies and what brought them to The Next Door. I am amazed at their courage to stand up in front of so many people and share openly about the pain their addiction caused in their past and how grateful they are for a future – without drugs and alcohol! That’s evident when they introduce themselves as, “Hi, I’m Liz and I’m a grateful, recovering addict.” I NEVER get tired of hearing an introduction like that!
The neatest part of the Benefit Luncheon today was when a former treatment client, Anna, shared her testimony. I was amazed when she spoke about going to jail 8 times, securing and losing over 30 jobs, buying and then wrecking her dream car and then overdosing from using heroin intravenously. Yet, she bravely shared that NONE of those things were a “wake up call” for her to seek help. Without addiction in my own past, this is hard to wrap my head my head around. Thanks to generous donors, Anna was able to come and stay in the residential treatment program for 32 days (includes 4 days in detox) and didn’t pay a dime. Talk about being grateful – I am grateful for donors who make this possible!
After finally putting my feet up to relax after this big event, I pray that hundreds of people were moved like I was today and understand more clearly that addiction does not discriminate in who it can take ahold of and how The Next Door is uniquely positioned to be a part of the solution for the growing opioid epidemic that is taking so many lives each day. I also pray that when we open the donation envelopes tomorrow, we will be able to give more Annas the gift of NEW LIFE and that much needed reminder that they are God’s masterpiece.
Thank you for your support of The Next Door and making recovery possible for women in this community.
Kate McKinnie has volunteered with TND since 2008 and joined our Development staff in 2015. Her role is to cultivate financial support from church congregations, corporate sponsors, individual donors and handles TND’s fundraising events.