Habitat encourages home dining fundraisers

By Kathy Chaffin - kchaffin@civitasmedia.com

The Upper Yadkin Valley Habitat for Humanity is asking supporters to join Round One of its “Dining for Homes” dinner party fundraisers.

Tom Bauguess, director of volunteer and family services for the Upper Yadkin Valley Habitat, encourages people to participate by hosting a dinner party and inviting their friends and/or family over. Hosts will provide the dinner, and and in return, their guests will be asked to make a contribution to Habitat and its housing mission.

“It’s just an easy, convenient way to raise funds,” he said.

So far, Bauguess said he has 11 confirmed dinner parties planned for the month of September and at least three for early October.

If each host or hostess invited 12 guests and each guest made a donation of $25, he said the dinner party would raise $300 for Habitat. While the size of the dinner party is up to the host, Bauguess said “ten to 12 guests are a great start toward raising money.”

Hosts can have fun and be as creative as they want with their dinner parties. “The options are endless on what they can do,” he said. “It can be as simple or as elaborate as they want.”

It can be like a family dinner where the host invites their extended families over, he said, or it can be as simple as ordering pizza or serving wine and cheese. Hosts can also have their meals catered.

Bauguess said he got the idea from the Triad Health Project in Winston-Salem, which has been doing dinner party fundraisers for 10-plus years. “I’ve attended several of the functions,” he said. “They’re called ‘Dining for Friends.’ “

Encouraging supporters to host or attend “Dining for Homes” is a low-cost way to raise funds, Bauguess said, while encouraging the community to get involved and getting the Habitat for Humanity name out there.

“I’d like our first year to be a great success and grow from there,” he said. After one or two years of the ‘Dining for Homes,’ fundraisers, Bauguess said he plans to hold a dessert gala fundraiser afterward at a central location for the host families and all the people who attended the dinner parties.

Hosts are asked to have their money collected by early October so it can be used to rehab two Habitat homes in Jonesville. “They were homes that someone had lived in previously,” Bauguess said, “but we own them now and we’re rehabing them.”

As part of the renovation, the homes have been modernized to be more energy efficient. “They’re practically like brand new houses,” he said.

Community groups and local businesses also help get the homes ready. Around 25 to 30 employees of Prism Medical of Elkin, for example, plan to work on a Saturday sowing the yards.

Two families are currently going through the Habitat program to prepare for moving into the homes, he said, and another prospective family is applying to be accepted into the program for the next available home.

The “Dining for Homes’ fundraiser is just one of several ways the Upper Yadkin Valley Habitat for Humanity raises money. The Habitat Hammer 5-1/2 K Run, held every spring for at least five years, raises about $8,000 every year, Bauguess said.

The Habitat also raises money at the annual Pumpkin Festival in September. “But the Restore is our No. 1 fundraiser,” he said. The store, which accepts and sells donations of furniture and household items, is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information on “Dining for Homes,” contact Tom Bauguess at 336-526-2277. To find out more about Habitat for Humanity, visit the website at www.UYVhabitat.org.

By Kathy Chaffin


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