Yesterday I got a glimpse of a world that’s far, far away from the world I live in day-to-day when I got to attend a charity fundraising event.
Some friends of friends went to this event last year and bought a ton of high-end furniture for cheap – furnished their whole home apparently – and raved to all their friends. They even got involved with the charity (and maybe that’s how my friends got tickets). My wife and I were last-minute invites as the spare guests. The event was a combination silent and live auction, hosted by TV design show personalities, with free drinks and food. I normally wouldn’t be caught dead in an event like this – one because I just feel uncomfortable around all the moneyed people, and more importantly, I wouldn’t be able to afford tickets.
The cause was good – a shelter and transition program for street youth. One of the program graduates – a young woman with mental health issues whose parents were immigrants – now works as a carpenter. Her story was cool, though you could tell she was not used to speaking to crowds. I always wonder how much money goes to the charity, and how much the events cost, etc. Last year, they apparently raised almost 200,000$ on the one night. The drinks, the food, the space… those all have to cost a ton. It feels gross to think that this is necessary to doing good things on a larger scale, because our social system still isn’t funded well enough to deal without non-profits filling the gaps. Wouldn’t it be better to tax people more and prevent suffering in the first place?
Considering how quickly I saw 30,000$ raised (to cover a summer’s worth of food) – literally in the first minutes, thanks to someone who donated 15,000$ without a thought – I think they did OK. The number of people who donated thousands, just like that, still blows my mind. They also bid on trips, furniture, and smaller things like appliances. Someone paid about 130$ per person for a food truck catered meal for 30. That one didn’t seem like a deal, but they were pretty happy to get it. Somebody else bought a HUGE diamond ring appraised at 17,000$, I think for his mom? for about a third of that. I mostly post on here about the things I buy each month, but we’re talking a few dollars. The only thing I’ve spent this kind of money on was house renovations, and I was nervous the whole time.
I’ve also never been around so many people with plastic surgery, which isn’t anything other than I’m not ever around people who can, or care to, afford it. It’s noticeable, and feels weird for that fact. Lots of people were dressed UP too. I was probably the second worst dressed person there, which didn’t help my comfort. Tonight I’m just reading a book to feel normal again.