Mixing It Up for a Good Cause
Have you ever partied with a purpose? Last Saturday, I attended a cocktail and music-filled mixer hosted by Reason to Party—a group that aims to add something new to San Francisco’s nightlife scene while giving back to worthy charities. At a Reason to Party bash, local businesses and the Reason to Party staff host an affordable fundraiser event benefiting an innovative and under-served local charity. This month’s party was dedicated to supporting Samasource, a remarkable organization that uses technology to connect women, youth, and refugees to life-changing work. But don’t let the do-good premise of this party fool you…these boys just wanna have fun.
Ari Kalfayan and Okko Grippando, co-founders of Reason to Party, are determined to help fulfill the financial needs of Bay Area charities. What better way to get people involved than to invite them to a great party? This one was thrown at the Green Room, a stellar space with massively tall ceilings, gorgeous, ornate decor and a giant outdoor balcony overlooking City Hall. I mixed and mingled with the crowd while DJ Jeff Stallings kept his smooth beats spinning for hours. Complimentary cocktails provided by Blue Angel Vodka kept the party-goers happy and loose.
A booth at one end of the room projected photos of the great work Samasource is involved in. It’s an unfortunate fact that 1 billion women, youth and refugees around the world will face unemployment in the next decade. Lack of economic opportunity is a root cause of increased crime and gender-based violence. As low-cost internet access spreads throughout the developing world, Samasource seizes this opportunity to connect at-risk individuals with computer-based work for paying clients. Samasource has brought work to over 600 people in Asia, Africa, the Carribean and more, changing their lives for the better. Thanks to Reason to Party and the sponsors of Saturday’s bash, they are poised to help even more.
With tickets at $20 in advance and $30 at the door, the entrance fee was a small price to pay for unlimited cocktails and a chance to give to a good cause. This easy-on-the-wallet price attracts a crowd of 20 and 30 something party-goers who ordinarily can’t afford the typical black-tie, $1000-a-plate fundraiser. Instead, this youthful party had a light-hearted vibe with guests sharing vials of jello shots courtesy of CrowdFlower—a company that uses a network of human labor to divide and conquer huge or tedious tasks a computer can’t handle (they require human reasoning and finesse). CrowdFlower often uses Samasource’s workers, helping them make a living.
After a few drinks and a Jello shot of my own, not to mention meeting some great people, I had to head call it a day. It was a night out I could feel extra good about the next morning, thanks to Reason to Party and Samasource. And really, when was the last time you went to a party with a view like this?