Fill your plate, help homeless, domestic violence victims

By LISA CAPOBIANCO

STAFF WRITER

Since its inception, Bristol-based non-profit For Goodness Sake has helped over 500 families who are making the transition to independent living.

From homelessness to domestic violence to addiction, these families have stepped inside For Goodness Sake’s Riverside Avenue warehouse with different life circumstances.

On Tuesday, May 23, For Goodness Sake will celebrate the number of lives it has touched during the 3rd Annual Plate at the Table fundraising dinner, which will take place from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Tavern 42.

During the dinner, For Goodness Sake will recognize those who have given back to the nonprofit, including a volunteer of the year, local grant funders, and Connecticut Mattress, which committed donating 90 beds a quarter to the non-profit.

Fundraiser guests also will get a chance to learn more about the clients served by For Goodness Sake through little stories that are placed on each table during the event.

“It’s our time to raise our visibility in the community a little bit about who we are, what we do,” said For Goodness Sake Executive Director Kendra Morales. “We recently passed 540 families that we’ve helped since our inception—we want to celebrate that with the people who have helped make that possible.”

This year, a variety of entertainment is lined up for the fundraiser, including a live performance by the local band All Washed Up, food from Tavern 42, a cash bar, silent auction, and raffle prizes. Among the raffle prizes on the list this year are tickets for the Late Show with Stephen Colbert and Disney World, salon and restaurant gift certificates, horseback riding lessons, and more.

Morales said local communities have stepped up in a big way to provide a variety of raffle prizes this year.

“We wanted to do giant, amazing raffle prizes…so anybody could win them,” said Morales.

Run completely by volunteers, For Goodness Sake partners with agencies throughout Central Connecticut to provide furniture and household goods, helping clients transform an empty space into a home. To date, the non-profit has grown to 24 partner agencies to serve not only Bristol but also Southington, Plainville, Farmington and other surrounding towns. These agencies refer clients to For Goodness Sake, which accepts gently used furniture and household goods from the community.

“Plate at the Table gives the community the opportunity to get some transparency into the work that we’re doing on the frontlines,” said Morales. “It has elevated our awareness in the community.”

Proceeds from Plate at the Table benefit the overall operations of For Goodness Sake, which is seeking additional space to help even more clients. Through the upcoming fundraiser, the non-profit hopes to raise enough money to make this happen.

“That all goes back to operations for us. This is the major fundraiser for us that helps keep the lights on, which in turn, helps us with any additional funding that we have come in expand additional programs,” said Morales, adding how the non-profit has outgrown its space.

When Plate at the Table kicked off for the first time, $5,000 was raised for the non-profit. During its 2nd annual fundraiser, this number rose to $12,000, and Morales is confident that For Goodness Sake will exceed this year’s fundraising goal of $20,000.

To date, For Goodness Sake has raised over $10,000 in raffle prizes and $7,000 in cash for the upcoming fundraiser.

“This year alone, we have 20 people on our fundraising committee right now for this event,” said Morales. “It has been incredible.”

Plate at the Table will take place on Tuesday, May 23, 5:30 p.m. at Tavern 42, located at 42 West Main Street, Plantsville.

Tickets will not be sold at the door, and are available online at www.forgoodnesssake.org and at For Goodness Sake’s facility located at 273 Riverside Avenue, Bristol.