1. Soup kitchen fundraiser is the first Friday in May
The Angels & Sparrows Soup Kitchen, 514 N. Old Statesville Road in Huntersville, provides meals for those in need every day throughout the year, holidays included. But only one time a year does the kitchen hold an event to help meet its own financial needs. That event is the annual Gather & Give fundraising gala to be held Friday, May 4, at Sweet Magnolia Estate on Bailey Road in Cornelius. Ticket information is available at www.one.bidpal.net/gatherandgive2018/ticketing.
2. Vision became a mission for soup kitchen founder
Sandy Tilley is the founder and the only full-time employee of Angels & Sparrows, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Tilley has shared her story many times, saying spiritual guidance led to the idea for a soup kitchen to serve the community. “People knew this was a relatively affluent area,” Tilley said, “but not everyone understood the level of need. And it’s here, it really is.” At the Gather & Give event, which will also serve as a celebration of the soup kitchen’s 10-year anniversary, Tilley will be a featured speaker and will summarize the facility’s evolution and future plans.
3. Thousands are served each year with community support
Tilley and part-time partner Emily Carlio make up the Angels & Sparrows staff, but in performing the duties required to feed the needy every day, a team of volunteers plays a vital role. “We have about 250 dedicated volunteers on the roster, and they are incredible,” Tilley said. “It’s church groups, local Rotary clubs, businesses and individuals who just want to help.” Those united efforts have enabled Angels & Sparrows to provide 300,000 meals in the last 10 years and meet a steadily growing demand. Tilley said the kitchen provided 53,000 meals in 2016, and 55,000 in 2017.
4. Feeding more people requires more financing
Tilley said community support has helped Angels & Sparrows from the beginning. But expanding needs, and the adoption of a summer bag lunch program that provided 18,000 summer meals for children last year, has required the kitchen to increase fundraising. The first Gather & Give event was held last year, and for this year’s gala, Tilley hopes to have at least 250 attendees and has set a fundraising goal of $50,000. “The level of support we have received has been a freakin’ miracle,” Tilley said, “but the need keeps growing.”
5. Gala includes food, wine, auctions, entertainment
The Gather & Give event will begin at 6:30 p.m. It will feature dinner prepared by Chef Scott Hollingsworth with Rare Roots Hospitality, a wine pull, a silent auction and live music from the Backyard Brothers. “I’ve told everyone that we absolutely need to make money,” Tilley said, “but the most important thing is that people have fun so this becomes something they always want to be a part of.” Those unable to attend who would still like to help the soup kitchen can participate in the auction online. Complete details about the event and ways to help are available at www.angelsandsparrows.org or by calling Cindy Deutsche, 847-340-5102.