Savannah community organizations team up for ‘Couch Potato Gala’ online fundraiser

Local News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — You won’t need to leave the comfort of your sofa to participate in a local fundraiser hosted by two local organizations.

Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Savannah Area, Inc. (CCCS) and the Neighborhood Improvement Association (NIA) teamed up for the Couch Potato Gala to raise money for their individual community programs.

Both groups offer first-time home-buying workshops and sessions for people working toward owning their very first home. 

That link is why the Couch Potato Gala fundraiser, which began in March, will wrap up in late June during National Homeownership Month. 

The social distancing-friendly format of the fundraiser was in the works prior to the pandemic, said CCCS Financial Education Director Richard Reeve.

“They say ‘sometimes you’re good and sometimes you’re lucky,’ and we were definitely lucky on this,” Reeve told WSAV.com NOW. 

He shared that many people had expressed being tired of the usual gala routine of getting dressed, having to go out and give speeches. 

Major funders wanted to do something different, which is how the Couch Potato Gala came about.

Billed as a “non-event,” the joint fundraiser offers community members a convenient way to support the local organizations, which plan to use the funds to continue helping those that need it within the Savannah area.

Reeve says for low- to moderate-income community members, joining their fellow neighbors in homeownership is the best way for them to gain generational wealth.

“We teach or educate the community on how to prepare for first-time home-buying, and we bring professionals to give them that information, including realtors, someone who understands credit, mortgage companies and someone to talk about fair housing,” said Debra Simmons, NIA’s executive director.

She added that the unique fundraising effort is a first for both NIA and CCCS.

“It gives us an opportunity to see what options are out there because people are always so busy, and this makes it a little easier for someone to actually donate to a worthy cause,” Simmons told WSAV.com NOW.

The Couch Potato Gala’s fundraising goal is $15,000, and Reeve says so far, the two organizations are off to a great start.

“Cole Management has been our primary corporate sponsor, that gave us a really good boost right out of the gate,” he said, adding that 20 community members have also helped them raise over $3,600 with 45 days to go.

A “ticket to chill” costs $25 and “gets you access to your couch for snacking and relaxing,” according to their Fundly fundraising page.

The two groups also offer different tiers of sponsorship for those who are able to donate a little extra. 

They range from the “steak fry sponsor” tier level worth $250, up to the $5,000 “loaded potato sponsor” level.

“[The pandemic] has affected our whole community, so to be able to give to two organizations that are at the forefront of financial wellness in our local area, I think it’s really important, and I’d say that it’s an easy way to give back to our local community and serve our neighbors,” Reeve said.

To learn more about NIA and CCCS’s Couch Potato Gala, visit their Fundly page or check out their Facebook event here.

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