Columbia, S.C. (April 14, 2014) – Time for Art, a unique silent art auction where guests bid volunteer hours instead of dollars, generated 2,667 committed volunteer hours during its inaugural event– a value of $58,674 going back into the community.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better evening,” said Nate Klein, senior manager of production support for Aflac Group and United Way of the Midlands and Young Leaders Society member, who proposed the event concept after successfully running the same event in Columbus, GA. “Seeing the young professionals of Columbia and Lexington commit 2,667 hours of community service is amazing. The young people of the Midlands care about making this good place, great through giving back; that’s what it is all about.”
Hosted by 12 young professional organizations from both Columbia and Lexington, the event saw over 200 attendees. Throughout the evening, guests bid the number of volunteer hours they would commit to working in order to win one of the 48 pieces of art that had been donated by local and regional artists.
“The overall concept for this event is unique and dynamic,” said Chuck Whipple, director of economic development for Lexington County. “The idea to bid volunteer hours instead of dollars was indeed creative and allowed the Midlands Young Professionals the opportunity to collaborate, invest and give back to the communities in which they live, work and recreate. It was also fantastic to see the unity among so many young professional organizations who were responsible for coordinating this event. Magnificent job.”
During the event, guests had the opportunity to meet 14 not-for-profit agencies, including American Red Cross, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Columbia, Lexington Interfaith Community Services and South Carolina Autism Society and Special Olympics of South Carolina.
“This event gave our organization and other non-profits the chance to reach out to young professionals who want to get more involved in the community. We must have active volunteers to keep our programs running and being able to reach the next generation is crucial.” said Leigh Cheatham, director of communications for Special Olympics South Carolina. “The turnout was incredible and I know that all of the organizations involved are excited about new volunteers and new opportunities. Thank you for your service.”