MONROE – The Community Shelter of Union County has turned its annual Boots & Bow Ties gala into a “non-event fundraiser,” asking the public to cheekily “not attend” on Sept. 19.
“It quickly became obvious that an in-person event with 300-plus attendees, like we normally have, couldn’t happen this year,” CEO Kathy Bragg said. “But we were determined to have an event, just tweaked with COVID.
“You don’t have to leave home for Boots & Bow Ties this year! We changed it to a non-event to ensure everyone’s safety.”
Event directors suggest attendees “stay home, plop on the couch, watch TV” while supporting the shelter on Sept. 19 or another date that’s convenient. The event typically raises 10% of the operating budget, or about $200,000.
“With COVID-19, we’ve seen an unprecedented surge in unemployment, food insecurity and evictions, which have greatly increased demand for community shelter services,” Bragg said.
Boots & Bow Ties Chair Anne Deas asks event “non-attendees” to consider donating the amount they might spend at a typical on-site fundraiser. That may include tickets, auction purchases, raffle tickets, babysitter and outfit.
All donations are 100% tax-deductible.
Contributions can be made at www.UnionShelter.org/donate, adding Boots in notes. You can also download a one-year pledge card at www.UnionShelter.org/boots or send a check to 160 Meadow St., Monroe, NC 28110.
Event T-shirts are for sale as well with an original design by local artist Bill Colt.
Last fiscal year, the shelter provided 27,177 nights of emergency shelter to homeless individuals and families with children. It served 73,946 meals in the dining hall and provided 354,411 pounds of food to residents living independently in the community. During the 12 months, 104 households moved into independent living with the shelter’s Rapid Rehousing program receiving rent, utility and move-in subsidies as needed.