If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you might’ve noticed I was a little involved with Harbor House of Central Florida, a women’s shelter who works to prevent and eliminate domestic abuse in Central Florida by providing critical life-saving services to survivors. Nubiana and I wanted to bring together our community of local bloggers to give help to the women who need it most. The idea came from wanting to give back to the women in our community in honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day. So we came up with the “Women Helping Women” initiative.

We partnered up with a beneficiary, Harbor House of Central Florida, to empower, inspire our local community, and raise awareness to women in need and the ongoing issue of domestic abuse. The event was split into two parts: a blogger brunch at Earls Kitchen and a dinner hosted by Sonny’s BBQ for all the women and children of Harbor House.

sonnys bbq - harbor house central florida

We invited 12 local bloggers to a brunch, sponsored by Earl’s Kitchen and Bar at the Mall of Millennia, where each of them had to bring in donations from a donation list provided by Harbor House. During the brunch we got to introduce ourselves, explain the purpose of the brunch and talked about how we could be more involved in our community and help spread this message and empower the women in our community.

The number of donations we received was incredible! Each blogger brought in bags of donations and I couldn’t thank them enough for it! Hand delivering all the bags filled with donations to Harbor House felt just right and I hope I’ll be able to do this again soon.

In addition to the donations we wanted to give something more to the families at Harbor House and after speaking with Darlene, the representative at Harbor House who helped us along the way, we decided on providing a special meal (provided by Sonny’s BBQ) and let them have an evening where they can all come together, have some fun, and enjoy great food. As Darlene explained, dinners are a treat at Harbor House because they aren’t brought in too often so the families are always so grateful and excited for them.

Sonny’s BBQ was generous enough to donate ALL FOOD AND DRINKS for everyone at Harbor House and I am forever grateful! There are around 60-70 women and children at Harbor House! We wanted to make our dinner something special; to cater something delicious yet casual for everyone to enjoy. Needless to say, Sonny’s BBQ did an excellent job! So Sonny’s if you’re reading this, THANK YOU FROM ALL OF US!!

All of the bloggers who attended the brunch and brought in donations were given a goodie bag as a thank you gesture from local companies Nubiana and I reached out to so we’d like to thank them as well:

Rifle Paper Co for the pins and agendas
BarTaco for the Taco Tokens
Origins for the Mini Facials tokens
Flower Arrangements (not sponsored) but ordered from Whole Foods and put together by my boyfriend, Nik.

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6 tips to hosting a meaningful blogger event and giving back to the community

  1. WHY are you hosting this event?
    is there a message you want to spread, an organization you want to help? List the purpose of the event and your goals. 
  2. WHAT will you need to achieve your end goal? 
    Make a list of all the things you have, things you need to buy,
  3. WHO are you partnering with? inviting? the sponsors?
    Find the organization you want to partner with and reach out to them, make the list of attendees you’d like to invite and sponsors you want to 
  4. WHERE are you hosting the event?
    Find a local venue, restaurant, boutique, etc. where you will be able to find 
  5. WHEN will it take place? 
    Make a timeline! Write down when you need to hear from your We used Evite to invite all 12 bloggers and reached
  6. HOW will you spread your message and help your community 
    When pitching your emails and sending your invitations make sure you are clear about your initiative. You should tell the brands and sponsors how they can help the local community. Also, include how you will thank them in return and help spread the message (blog posts, Instagram posts, etc.)
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