“The goal of a nonprofit is to shut down.”
That’s what Peter Morris, Director of Urban Ministries, told myself and four others the day we visited Urban Ministries over 6 months ago. Nonetheless, Urban Ministries’ multi-faceted approach to tackle some of the most pressing problems in our society and goal to build the future volunteers of tomorrow led us to promise them a check for $120,000.
191 days later this was the scene. Time stopped as I walked up the stairs of Marbles Kids Museum. Down below, thousands of people, appearing like a field of holes in a thimble, cheered us on with rapturous applause. Every pulsation of my heart was magnified as the crowd became silent in anticipation: “We are proud to present a check for…”
You know the rest. We fulfilled our promise to Urban Ministries. At the end of the day, though, it’s not about the total amount of money. It’s about Tracy, a client at the Helen Wrights Center who just needed people to give her a shot. It’s about that family of four who doesn’t have adequate access to food. It’s about our friends and neighbors who can’t afford exorbitant costs in the healthcare industry.
Now, twenty days after Charity Ball, I think about the future of this organization. Peter’s statement still resonates in my mind. Why is the goal of a nonprofit to shut down? Is Charity Ball done?
No, far from it. The goal of a nonprofit wanting to shut down, in today’s society, is one of pure idealism. Peter’s statement holds true in a perfect world, one in which suffering will cease to exist and the needs of the community can be met. That being said, 1,000 Charity Ball’s will not end all suffering in Raleigh; an inordinate amount of money will not bring prosperity to all; there will always be people for us to fight for, people that will always enable us to ignite that spark of service.
As I think about the future, I have no doubt that Enloe Charity Ball will continue to do amazing things with its community of sponsors that reject all preconceived notions of religion, race, and wealth to bring people from all walks together. To our Platinum sponsors in Big Ed’s, Chiesi, and Teleflex, we thank you. From donors an ocean away in England to supporters thousands of miles away in California and New York, we thank you. From our supporters at the pinnacle of society- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation- to the brothers and sisters who emptied out their piggy banks to donate change, we thank you. And most of all, thank you Urban Ministries for being there for us on this amazing journey. As a senior leaving Enloe, the last few months have been bittersweet as I know what I have been a part of will be one of the greatest impacts I will make in my lifetime. I welcome all our supporters into the Charity Ball family and have the utmost of faith in our entire community to keep putting your relentless support in the “Kids Doing not Kid Things” for generations to come.
Over & Out.
Student Body Vice President of Finance