Raleigh -- With Christmas just around the corner, it’s time for holiday parties filled with food, friends, family and a whole lot of fun.
But inside the home of Christina Woelffer, it’s not what these women receive but rather what they give that makes this gathering truly unique.
“This is the 6th annual Raleigh Giving Party, and what we are doing is, we have house full of women from Raleigh and different area of the Triangle who have gathered together to give until it feels good,” Woelffer said.
Started a decade ago by a handful of women in Chapel Hill, Giving Parties quickly spread across the Triangle as a way to learn about and donate to non-profits in need.
“It gives you a really good feeling at the holidays that you're not just enjoying this time by yourself, but you're just making someone else feel a little bit better and making their life a little bit happier,” said small business owner and party goer Kim Ply.
And now, the service project parties are being hosted by women around the world, helping raise tens of thousands of dollars for charity in a single night alone.
“This is certainly an amazing party, and it shows what the power of women can do when we all come together and we work to help our community, anything is possible,” said Kristy White of the Autism Society of North Carolina.
For new non-profits like Carroll’s Kitchen, a restaurant that helps homeless women get back on their feet, the night is about much more than just the money, it’s about gaining volunteers and raising awareness about the work they do in the community.
“If you can connect someone and tell them your story, it's so much easier. It's a win for our customers that come in, they get amazing food. And it's a win for us because we get to help more people and more women,” Theresa Garrett of Carroll's Kitchen said.
All thanks to friends-raisers on a mission.
“Houses full of women, giving back, doing good in their own backyard. It's a pretty empowering wonderful feeling,” Woelffer added.
The Raleigh Giving Party helped raise more than $25,000 for four area non-profits this year. And since they first began nationwide, Giving Parties have helped raise nearly $400,000 total.
This year's Raleigh Giving Party donated to the following four non-profits: