Last night I attended an excellent fundraiser hosted by Gifted Hands, who were raising funds for some very important organisations. The night was filled with scrumptious chocolate treats, perfect pastries, swinging tunes and a visual feast of amazing jewellery in every imaginable colour.
The “Night in New York” fundraiser was a packed out event, with women, men, families and single ladies enjoying a night out. The focus of the event was to have fun while supporting the work of organisations such as Collective Shout, who advocate for a world free of sexual exploitation, and the Youth Wellbeing Project, whose aim is to provide “the strategic development and implementation of innovative education programs focussed on youth wellbeing” (Liz Walker).
As if the great music, goodies and food weren’t brilliant enough, every person who attended the event also received a free piece of jewellery. Attendee’s also got the chance to attend information sessions run by Melinda Tankard Reist (Collective Shout) and Liz Walker (Youth Wellbeing Project). There was unfortunately one unwelcome guest (who thought he would try to spoil the event by putting witches hats across the driveway in order to stop people attending) but aside from this, the night was a huge success.
One of the most incredible moments of the night happened just as the Fundraiser came to a close, and involved a donation by an 11 year old boy named Ryan. Walking up to Melinda Tankard-Reist, this young boy presented her with a small sandwich bag filled with coins. Ryan (whose parents revealed he is a child usually very reluctant to give away any of his pocket money) held up his little offering and said to Melinda, “I know that some men don’t treat ladies very well these days, and I want you to take this”.
It was a truly touching moment, and was an important reminder to all of us of just how important it is to keep fighting against the sexualisation of children. If society hope to raise more warm, generous and caring young men such as Ryan, we need to do everything we can to ensure that groups such as Collective Shout and the Youth Wellbeing Project continue to spread their messages. I encourage all of you to sign up to their facebook pages and keep yourself in the loop with what is going on in our society.
These are two very brave and important organisations, and they need our continued support. If you feel encouraged to support their work please visit their pages and follow the links to make a donation.
To view the complete album of images from the night please go to: