Local charity going online to raise money at gala during pandemic

Organizers say this might be the new normal

Local charity going online to raise money at gala during pandemic

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The coronavirus is hitting everybody hard, changing the way our communities and our nation think and react to things.

It’s particularly tough on charities and nonprofits as we enter into fundraising season.

Some groups, like Dahlia Grove here in Charlotte have had to resort to taking their galas virtual. Obviously, they’re hoping for the best, but the people putting on the yearly event are dealing with uncharted territory.

The gathering was supposed to be at the Big Chill Club on East Morehead Drive, but since that can’t happen it’ll be in cyberspace, with everyone checking in from all over the country.

Organizers from Dahlia Place said it was early April when they realized the gala may not go off quite as planned. But the leadership at the nonprofit knew they had to do something.

The group helps women who have been victims of human trafficking, spousal abuse or other types of assaults by giving them a place to stay and helping them rehabilitate back into the world, so the funds they raise at events like this are vitally important.

So on Friday, everything will be online. From the musicians to the speakers, even bidding on the silent auctions will be done via keyboard.

Gayle Smith, one of the founders of Dahlia Grove said at first, the thought of having their annual gala online seemed “silly”.

“This is all so new to us so in the beginning it felt a little silly, but you know? But it’s become our new norm." said Smith. This is how we do everything. It’s how the women in our program do their treatment, it’s how we do church, it’s how we do news. So it’s the new norm.”

If you’d like to virtually attend the gala you can do so by clicking the link here. The event is planned for Friday April 24th at 6:30 p.m.

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