Georgia Nonprofit Dedicated to Breaking the Cycles of Homelessness, Poverty and Domestic Violence Exceeded its Fundraising Goals to Support Self-Sustainability Programming and Rainbow Village Academy
Duluth, Ga., September 8, 2020 – The world has witnessed a resurgence of the word “pivot” as companies, organizations and even families have had to embrace flexibility and employ innovation in the wake of COVID-19. That has certainly been the case at Rainbow Village – a Duluth, Ga.-based nonprofit dedicated to breaking the cycles of homelessness, poverty and domestic violence in the lives of Georgia families with children. Originally scheduled for May 4, 2020, the Rainbow Village Second Chance Golf Classic represents one of the nonprofit’s largest fundraisers of the year. By late March, it became clear that Rainbow Village would have to postpone the tournament – which already had a slew of sponsors and foursomes lined up to show their support. The rescheduled event took place on Monday, August 24 as 144 golfers spread out on the 18-hole championship course at TPC Sugarloaf and by the time the tournament had come to an end, funds raised on behalf of Rainbow Village exceeded their original, pre-COVID goal of $100,000.
“Like many other companies and nonprofits, we’re having to stretch ourselves in new ways to meet the needs of the families we serve,” said Melanie Conner, CEO for Rainbow Village. “We’ve hosted a series of virtual events, stepping out in faith every time – unsure of how they will be received. Our amazing community of faith partners, corporate partners, community partners, donors and volunteers blow us away every time with their enduring support. The Second Chance Golf Classic represented our first in-person event since COVID-19 first rocked our world, and – although it looked different to see smiles hidden behind masks and we weren’t able to take part in all of the fun fellowship activities that typically surround this event – the spirit was still the same. It fills my heart with awe to see how this community comes together to embrace the homeless families we serve, championing them as they make their way on a journey toward self-sustainability. When we moved the date of the event for the protection of everyone involved, we feared we might lose some golfers and sponsors. Instead, we had a waiting list of golfers who wanted to be a part of our special day. Due to social distancing guidelines, we weren’t able to accommodate everyone, but we deeply appreciate their desire to help us give a ‘mulligan’ – AKA second chance – to families in need.”
The official winners of the 2020 Rainbow Village Second Chance Golf Classic were Joe Thompson, Mike Royal, Mike Wilson and Scott Hales of Partners Risk Services. But Conner insists that the real winners are the families Rainbow Village serves. In addition to supporting the campus that houses 30 families and provides transformative programming for every member of the family, the funds raised during this year’s Golf Classic will help the nonprofit extend the hours of Rainbow Village Academy and cover the expense of hiring instructional aides and teachers needed to serve the 25 school-age students who are taking part in digital learning for the remainder of the calendar year.
“After weeks of uncertainty with regard to whether or not we’d be able to host one of our most impactful fundraisers of the year, I cannot tell you how incredible it felt to finally come together under sunny skies at TPC Sugarloaf,” recalled Michelle Alcorn, Community Engagement Director for Rainbow Village. “The most heartwarming moment occurred when Melanie announced the total amount of funds raised at our 19th Hole Reception at the end of the tournament. As soon as our players and sponsors learned that we missed our goal by $140, they came forth and opened their wallets to ensure that we not only met but exceeded our goal. We feel so blessed to bear witness to the generosity of the community that surrounds Rainbow Village every day. It’s a powerful thing.”
Another major fundraiser on Rainbow Village’s calendar each year is its “We Are Family” Benefit Gala – typically hosted at the Atlanta Athletic Club. With a seated dinner, silent and live auctions, and fellowship, it’s an event many of the nonprofit’s supporters look forward to each year. Last year, the Gala raised a record-breaking $337,893 to benefit Rainbow Village and the families it serves. The Rainbow Village leadership team in conjunction with its Board of Directors made the difficult decision to transform the 2020 Rainbow Village “We Are Family” Benefit Gala to a virtual event to ensure the safety of participants. Scheduled for November 7, more details about this year’s Gala will be unveiled in the weeks to come. The date for the 2021 Rainbow Village Second Chance Golf Classic has been set for April 19. For more information about Rainbow Village and its programs, please visit www.rainbowvillage.org.
About Rainbow Village: Established in 1991 and based in Duluth, Georgia, Rainbow Village is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization devoted to breaking the cycles of homelessness, poverty and domestic violence. Committed to serving as a “community of transformation”, Rainbow Village applies a holistic, two-generational approach to serving homeless families with children. With the goal of helping families achieve emotional stability and financial independence, Rainbow Village provides housing, early childhood education and after-school care, child and youth programming, financial planning, career counseling, workforce readiness, mental health counseling, community events and more. Rainbow Village accepts applications from homeless families with minor children throughout Georgia. To learn more about Rainbow Village, register as a volunteer or make a donation, visit www.rainbowvillage.org.