This is an honest look at where the money goes and the value of your contributions – I will not use this opportunity to selfishly try to sway you by mentioning how there are over 4 open bars, live music, and over a dozen restaurants or how you would probably spend much more than $75 to try and do a similar evening at even one location...
Taste of Fall is an event that was created for the volunteers and friends of LPCS who could not necessarily afford our spring gala, but wanted a way to give and enjoy an evening with friends. Since then, Taste of Fall has grown in numbers, size, excitement, and also in price. Many original attendees have asked why the tickets now cost $75, and have expressed that this is getting a little steep. Trust me when I say that I completely understand how $75 is a lot of money. You can fill up two tanks of gas for this amount. You can buy a new pair of jeans for this amount, and possibly some flip flops to go with (depending upon your brand style). You could even take your significant other out for two glasses of wine at the Signature Room for $75. So why are we asking you to contribute that much to our event instead?
We refer to this event as Opening Doors, because that is literally what the money is doing. It is Opening Doors for our Guests and Grads. LPCS is wonderful and unique because we do not have a time limit on how long our Guests stay with us. That gives them the opportunity to really work on their barriers, address any long term needs, find work, and save money so that they can be stable when moving out and not return to homelessness. The struggle is that very last hurdle, the one where they have a job, and they found a great apartment, but just need a little extra help with the security deposit before they can go anywhere. Taste of Fall helps with this.
Taste of Fall is Opening Doors for people that have worked hard on their resumes, applied to many jobs, participated in mock interviews and were fantastic when actually meeting for a position. Unfortunately, that job may be across the city and it costs on average $102 to just ride the CTA for a month (the most affordable way to get around Chicago). At $102 a month, many Guests are unable to take a job because they do not have that money yet to get to a job that will get them money to buy a pass to go to work (you see where there is a cycle of joblessness?...) so Taste of Fall helps people get a CTA card so that they can take advantage of every single job opportunity.
At LPCS, we believe in the importance of Job Training and education. In fact, Job Training has even been incorporated into our recent Strategic Plan. Job Training is a great way to Open Doors because it strengthens a resume. For every job posting on LinkedIn, over 850 people view that job, and only 30% are viable candidates. By providing job training, we are ensuring that our Guests are within that 30%. Taste of Fall provides the means to ensure this training for our Guests.
Simply put, $75 goes a long way for everyone. We understand that completely, we work in non profit, after all! But if you are willing to sacrifice dinner and a movie for two, and instead join us at Taste of Fall, your money will do a lot more than get you a lot of food and drinks, it will provide an opportunity to change a Guest’s life and Open Doors to a better one.
Every restaurant, every auction item, every drink, and every song played has been donated to Taste of Fall. Your ticket, which will get you full access to all of these things for the entire night, will go entirely to Opening Doors for our Guests.
Purchase tickets here.
By Meghan Freebeck
By Meghan Freebeck