How Dinner With Our Friends Raised $19,000

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4 years ago we started looking at our life different. Honestly, I had to start seeing it from new angles. Not because life was bad, but because it had started to feel mundane - was all this stuff we did and had really just for us to use? We started asking what if we used the things we did and had in a way to help others? That was when we had this simple idea : what if we invited friends for dinner and asked them to donate money to a charity of our choosing in order to save a seat? Guess what? We had friends crazy enough to say yes.

The first dinner was really pretty normal. We sat on our back deck with 7 friends. A couple others came over to help me prep, another donated wine, another gave veggies from her garden and all of a sudden dinner was made and we were enjoying a nice evening together. We donated $300 from that first dinner.

That felt big : not because it was a huge amount of money, but because this thing that we were doing anyways (eating dinner!) was now changing people's lives. We sent every dollar that was raised to Rescue:Freedom International to aid in the fight against human trafficking - so literally, our dinner table was giving freedom.

Then more friends said, 'Hey, we want to come to a dinner!' - so we found another weekend that would work, invited more friends to help cook, and set up. We asked people to donate veggies and flowers from their gardens and that's when we decided to move the table to our backyard orchard.

That first dinner helped us see how much our own community was wanting to be a part. What started as simply our own desire to help has shifted to us creating a space for others to jump in. A place for people to gather. 

 our first dinner : simple and sweet

our first dinner : simple and sweet

But this was still just our backyard, and our small cute kitchen (I promise you it is small!) - so we started looking for more ways to expand the idea. Our community floral workshops, interactive dinner events and our online shop all grew out of that first dinner.

Since that evening on the deck, we have hosted over 400 people at our table and together with this community and the donations from our business we have given a little over $19,000. 

I know how it feels to be doing the day to day cooking, cleaning and taking care of kids. It's one of the most important jobs, but gosh it can start to feel mundane.

The thought would run through my mind a lot, 'is this really all I'm going to do?'

Filling our table has given meaning to this daily 'chore'. It has showed me that our everyday lives are powerful when we see them from a different perspective.

Your life has the same purpose and meaning. Your community has the same desire to make a difference. Let's put that kitchen of yours to work changing the world one dinner at a time.

I'd love to help you create your own 'freedom dinner'!

Click here to get my full step by step guide and be sure to check out our book Dinner Changes Everything. We filled it with our own menus and recipes, timelines and stories to inspire you to see your table and community from a new perspective.

Kelly WelkComment