Hands On Atlanta celebrates service at annual High Five Party, raising over $130,000 to help engage and mobilize volunteers, and support education and hunger programs.
The week of April 15, 2018 will go down in the record books for our team here at Hands On Atlanta. We kicked off National Volunteer Week with a weekend of service projects for Good Deeds Day, and highlighted 5 outstanding volunteer leaders (1 per day) on The Citizen. Over the course of the week, we filled 450 volunteer opportunities through our calendar, and on Saturday, April 21, we partnered up with the Coke Scholars for a Global Youth Service Day project - mobilizing over 150 youth in service. To cap off this exciting (and exhausting) week of service, we partied with 300 civic and service leaders at our High Five Party!
Attendees arrived at The Gathering Spot and got things rolling with drinks, appetizers, and on-site service projects (including packing 125 literacy kits)! There was also a chance to bid on some of our awesome silent auction items, spread throughout the venue.
The program kicked off with a little trivia from The Big Game show and really set the takeaway for the evening - FUN. Jay Cranman, Hands On Atlanta President and CEO (left) formally welcomed attendees and David Richardson, Hands On Atlanta Chairman of the Board (right), followed with a heartfelt and personal story about the impact volunteers recently made on his family.
One of the highlighted moments of the night came with the announcement of the 2018 Holly Palmer Rhodes Changemaker of the Year Award. This year's recipient, Arthur Blank, was unable to attend in person, but he requested we send a team of our best and brightest journalists to interview him on the importance of giving back to kids in Atlanta, entrepreneurship best practices, and more! Enjoy this special segment of Between Two Fans:
After dinner the guys from The Big Game Show came back for a hilarious, "Jeopardy style" game show that included a few of our friends - CARE CEO, Michelle Nunn (Hands On Atlanta co-founder/former CEO), Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Meria Carstarphen, and Executive Director of the Atlanta Speech School, Comer Yates, and a few special guests from our Discovery program.
After the game show, guests settled in for an impact story from one of our Discovery program volunteers, Priscilla "Granny" McDowell. Priscilla spoke to the importance of exposing her grandchildren to different cultures, different people, and different experiences the program provides. It was a great reminder of why we had all gathered for the evening, emphasizing why supporting Hands On Atlanta matters.
Jessica "It's All Good" Williams came out to help with our live auction and a few motivated attendees left with tickets to Hamilton, a dream vacation to Antigua, and a chance to watch a Falcons or United game from Arthur Blank's suite! It was a great start to the giving, but things were just heating up. After a brief announcement from Mr. Blank (with a match of up to $15,000) our audience blew passed our goal and gave over $20,000 in less than 10 minutes!
Attendees poured out of the ballroom and onto the dance floor where Oh No Stereo was keeping the good vibes (and guests) moving at our High Five Late Night party, hosted by our Changemakers Board. Young professionals from across metro Atlanta joined the party and 1 guest won weekend getaway to Charleston, South Carolina!
We can't thank our sponsors and supporters enough, but we're going to try. Huge thank you's and high fives to the Arthur Blank Family Foundation, Publix Charities, Chick-fil-A Foundation, Congizant, Cox, KMS Technology, UPS, Evelyn and Bernie Wedge and all of our sponsors! Our work isn't possible without you, thank you!
In total we raised over $130,000 on the evening, raised awareness around some big challenges facing our communities, shared a few moving stories and a few great dance moves, recognized and connected changemakers, mobilized volunteers in service, and had an absolute blast doing it!
Feeling inspired and want to get in on the High Five Party action? It's not too late, you can make a donation and help our efforts to engage volunteers and/or support our impact programs.