White elephant party


My friends Jen and Matt have an amazing Brooklyn duplex, which they are very generous about putting to use to throw fabulous fundraisers. This weekend they hosted a white elephant party to benefit City Harvest.

Host Matt takes bids on BBQ artist Don's donation

For those who don’t know, a white elephant is gift you get but don’t want and City Harvest is an NYC-based nonprofit that rescues 25 million pounds of excess food from restaurants,  stores and farms every year and redistributes that food to hungry families. Both concepts re-purpose what would otherwise be thrown away. By my count that’s double zero waste.

To spice things up, this party began as a silent auction. Instead of trading gifts, we bid cash that would go toward City Harvest. The most and least popular items were then put up for live auction—with numbered paddle bidding and everything, just like Christies. To boost the total at the end of the night, our friend and local BBQ legend Don put a party in his backyard  up for bid.

Final tally: over $1100 raised and unknown pounds of unwanted gifts matched with people who might actually use them. I hope this idea catches on and becomes an annual tradition.

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