May 11, 2019 10:00:23 PM
For a fourth year, the Northside Charity Boil organized by Colin and Desiree Krieger will benefit the Golden Triangle Homeless Coalition. The May 26 event couldn't be more timely. Due to a grant awarded but not yet funded, the Homeless Coalition is in great need of funds to help provide emergency shelter for people in the Golden Triangle who are homeless.
"I can't tell you how hard it is to say 'no' to somebody who is coming to us in need," said the Rev. Sandra DePriest of Columbus, a GTHC board member and officer. "Colin is amazing and generous, and we are so grateful for this opportunity to raise some much-needed funds."
What began as a crawfish boil block party several years ago at the Kriegers' residence has grown into a significant opportunity to do good in the community.
"It got started as a neighborhood party, and everybody chipped in some money," Colin Krieger said. Before long, a sponsor stepped up. The parties got bigger and people still chipped in. All extra monies were donated to the coalition. Krieger said last year's boil drew about 400 people and raised approximately $4,000.
"Homelessness is not always at the forefront," said Krieger, who noted he's been aware in the past few years how reduced funding in general has strained nonprofits like GTHC, which strives to help the homeless achieve and sustain a stable environment.
DePriest explained, "Our goal is provide three stages of housing. The first is emergency housing for people who need a hotel for one to three nights until we can get a plan in place for more permanent housing. That's where our greatest need is right now. We are desperate for funds to help people who are sleeping on the streets."
It's not unusual for requests for help to come from families, especially mothers with children, added DePriest, who cofounded the coalition with the Rev. Anne Harris of Columbus in 2014.
The organization works with those in its program who are motivated to achieve increasing independence. Assistance may range from 120 days in one of two apartments available to GTHC, to guidance in job training, life skills and money management.
The Kriegers are glad to do their part to advance the mission.
"My wife and I came up here (from New Orleans) after Katrina," Krieger said. "We were warmly welcomed when we came to town. When we rode the wave up here, they took care of us."
Accustomed to New Orleans' party tradition, the couple continued the trend in Columbus, turning the events into opportunities to give back. "We knew our parties were getting bigger," he said, "and we knew we had money left over -- and people just need help."
Sunday, May 26
The Northside Charity Boil is from 1-7 p.m. at 803 Fifth Ave. N. In addition to live music from area musicians, the day includes crawfish by Kidd's Crawfish, gumbo, dirty rice, pizza, burgers and hot dogs. Staff from Zachary's restaurant, which is recovering from a recent fire, will also volunteer at the grills. A water-slide for children and a raffle for a 50-inch Sharp 1080P Smart TV, as well as a gas grill and other prizes, also highlight the fundraiser. Raffle tickets are $5, available at 662tix.com or at the event.
For information on becoming a sponsor, contact Krieger at 662-329-7653.
For additional information about the Golden Triangle Homeless Coalition, visit gtrhomelesscoalition.org.
IF YOU GO:
WHO: Colin and Desiree Krieger
WHAT: Northside Charity Boil
WHEN: Sunday, May 26; 1-7 p.m.
WHERE: 803 Fifth Ave. N., Columbus
COST: Donations to Golden Triangle Homeless Coalition. Raffle tickets are $5.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.