2017 Hope Gala: A Story in Pictures

– September 25, 2017 –

A little over a week ago, 160 guests dashed through the light Washington rain to attend the 2017 Coffee Oasis Hope Gala.
After all, coffee and good company was waiting inside!


For some who came there was anticipation of good food and sitting at a table with friends.
For others there was the slight weariness of a long week.
For a few there was slight awkwardness of attending a fundraiser and fearing they would be called on to give.
But by the end of the evening, all left with lightened hearts and fresh hope.
For the night had shown that there is a difference being made in the lives of hurting youth and they had played an active part of making that difference happen.

 

See, there is something powerful and renewing about gathering together for a purpose.

We make new friends, connecting together over the mission…

…and reconnect with friends who have supported the same cause for years.

When we are offered delicious food…  …we are thankful for someone serving us and thankful for the special treat.

Gathering even gives us the opportunity to shop!
Auction items suddenly aren’t just more things to buy: they are one more opportunity to give back.

Eventually we all settle down together..

…and begin to listen. Truly listen.

We hear people share how the mission began and realize they are people just like us. They aren’t titans or superheroes.
They are people like us who saw great hurt and felt overwhelmed by it, but decided to start making a difference no matter how small.
And 20 years later they are still fighting the good fight because others joined them.

We hear from those like Gage who have been touched by the efforts of many. We realize that all those years of small efforts lead up to amazing transformation in the lives of real young people. And we get to share in the joy and honor of hearing someone share their victories, like Gage sharing that he was soon to celebrate 6 months clean and sober when the longest he had been clean and sober before the Coffee Oasis was 17 days.

So we hear these stories and are invited to be very present, very aware of the people we share our community with and share this room with.

And then we are invited to respond. Would you like to give? Would you like to advocate?
Sure it’s nerve wracking to decide in that moment, “What will I do?”

But it’s also energizing! Because you remember that you just heard stories proving that a difference is being made even against overwhelming odds. And as you choose to give you realize that you are playing a part in that transformation. And even more amazing you aren’t alone: you are surrounded by a room full of people who are are just as dedicated to loving their neighbor and seeing the world changed for homeless youth.

 

After the noise dies down and you hear how much was raised for providing housing opportunities for homeless youth.
There’s celebration! And conversations.

And of course dessert.

As you put your coat back on and decide to head home, what sticks with you are the faces and the stories.
YOU got to share in the life of young people who are overcoming barriers and experiencing healing and hope.
YOU got sit with a room of new friends who are dedicated to making a difference.
YOU got to use your voice and gifts to give hope to someone else.

And maybe you are already anticipating next year’s Gala and thinking of who to invite to come with you.
Because there is something powerful and renewing about gathering together for a purpose.

 


A big thank you goes to our Lead Sponsor Molina Healthcare and Supporting Sponsor United Healthcare for sponsoring this year’s Hope Gala! Their support meant that ALL the money raised – over $39,000 – went directly to you Oasis housing programs for homeless youth.