NGA Hancock Park members and supporters gathered on Zoom last month for their 2021 NGA CARES annual fundraiser. Like so many other groups, the NGA team (NGA stands for National Giving Alliance, formerly Needlework Guild of America) pivoted its annual fundraising event to a virtual format. Known for its offbeat and fun events, the group’s theme this year was NGA Beach Blanket Drag Bingo, produced by Bingo Boy Inc., which has been fundraising for charities for decades.
“We own the kitsch category in the neighborhood,”explained NGA President Beverly Brown, “so we had to go with it. People expect a fun, whacky event, nothing stuffy.”
The virtual event raised more than $36,000, not nearly as much as the $100, 000 the group raised last year before the pandemic, but organizer and volunteer Kiel Fitzgerald said they were still very pleased with the results.
“We really appreciate the support we got from people who we just asked to come to a party for free, there were no tickets,” explained Brown. “The need in the community is so great and we deeply appreciate our corporate sponsors: City National Bank, American Business Bank, First Century Bank, Kinetix, Alex Eddy Financial Services and Mud Australia.”
Because of the pandemic, volunteers who would normally gather together to shop or stuff backpacks have been working solo and shopping online. It’s been challenging, but the group has still managed get the work done.
Over the past year, Hancock Park NGA purchased over 21,418 items for eight nonprofit agencies, spending more than $74,000. Volunteers’ efforts included filling more than 6,000 backpacks for needy student through Operation School Bell.
Fitzgerald said the group is already planning for next year.
“We are booked to return to Wilshire Country Club in February 2022, with a raging Roaring ’20s theme,” she told the Buzz.
About NGA Hancock Park
NGA Hancock Park helps purchase new clothing, linens, and personal care items for seven local charities in Los Angeles:
- ALEXANDRIA HOUSE is a transitional residence and house of hospitality for women and children who are working to overcome homelessness. The agency is also a neighborhood center providing educational and enrichment opportunities for residents and neighbors alike.
- GOOD SHEPHERD CENTER for homeless women and children provides, with dignity and love, a continuum of care from homelessness to self-sufficiency for women and their children.
- HOLLYGROVE/UPLIFT FAMILY SERVICES is an agency that does whatever it takes to help children in crisis, strengthen families, build community, and advocate for system change to ensure that every family thrives.
- MCINTYRE HOUSE provides chemically dependent men, especially those with financial limitations, with the very best opportunities to become drug-free, responsible and productive members of society.
- OPERATION SCHOOL BELL (Assistance League of Los Angeles) provides appropriate school clothing to Los Angeles Unified School District children from impoverished circumstances to promote learning, improve school attendance, and enhance self-esteem.
- AVIVA provides a comprehensive range of diverse and culturally sensitive therapeutic and educational programs to help at-risk, emotionally distressed, abused, and neglected youth – as well as their families – function more effectively as individuals and within the family and community.
- IMAGINE LA harnesses the power of volunteer mentorship teams and existing community resources to empower families that have experienced homelessness to thrive long term.
- STUDENTS 4 STUDENTS serves homeless college students from area schools through their Bruin Shelter and Trojan Shelter, run by UCLA and USC students, providing basic needs and connecting them to resources to finalize post-shelter housing plans and a path to graduation.