More than 500 supporters joined The Doe Fund at Cipriani 42nd Street last Thursday for its Annual Gala to celebrate formerly homeless New Yorkers achieving success.
The gala raised $1,756,000 overall for The Doe Fund's award-winning Ready, Willing & Able Program. Ready, Willing & Able keeps more than 150 miles of New York City clean as part of a transitional employment program for formerly homeless and incarcerated men, The Doe Fund serves 1,000 individuals each day by providing paid work, career development opportunities, social services, and classroom education.
The gala also marked the premiere of Work Works, a documentary created by renowned film company Grand Street Media. The documentary featured The Doe Fund’s trainees and graduates speaking about the successes of The Doe Fund’s Ready, Willing & Able program in their own words.
“Over the past 25 years, Doe Fund has proven that a job is the number one most effective social program we have as a society," reflected Founder and President George McDonald. "Over and over again, hundreds of times per year, adult men take advantage of the opportunities available to them in order to provide for themselves and their families. We are extremely grateful to everyone in this room tonight for recognizing that a hand up, not a hand out, is the key to solving some of our society’s most intractable social problems.”
“It is a privilege to support The Doe Fund and the Ready, Willing & Able program” said Wendy Madden, a member of The Doe Fund’s Board of Directors and Director of Operations at Steve Madden. “Their mission is one that I think any New Yorker can get behind; to empower those who haven’t had access to many opportunities in life to define the terms of their success and the course of their future.”
Supporters of the organization include Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Ethan Hawke, Kathleen Turner, and representatives from iconic New York businesses including Mt. Sinaii Medical Center, Baldor Specialty Foods, Magnolia Bakery, and hundreds more. The Doe Fund’s Ready, Willing & Able program is slated to expand by an additional 200 beds to accommodate for the rising numbers of individuals in need.
Charity Auctioneer CK Swett helped The Doe Fund to raise more than $275,000 in the room, to support the organization’s ongoing efforts.