Millennial Spirits of New Orleans
Member, Board of Directors, Robert Riess
A dynamic group of young adults has created a philanthropic organization, the Millennial Spirits of New Orleans, to ensure their favorite city has a bright future. This brand-new organization proves the Millennial Generation – typically defined as those born between 1980 and 2000 – are eager to serve their communities. Robert Riess, Adele Humphreys, Matthew Stone, Meg Lewis, Megan Beer, and Pepper Baumer make up the Board of Directors.
Last November, Robert and his friends realized they have a strong interest in philanthropic events, although many organizations don’t try to directly involve the Millennial Generation. He and his friends realized there was room for such an organization, and they officially formed Millennial Spirits in January 2015.
“We can give back to the city, even if we can’t afford to donate a lot,” Robert said.
Party Planning 101
The Millennial Spirits team had an initial desire to support crime prevention. They decided to host a fun event “to spur our generation to understand that if we want to be here, crime is something we need to tackle for the future,” says Robert.
The team planned, organized and hosted a fundraising event only a few months after the organization’s creation. These young professionals learned how to serve on a board, secure sponsors and launch a full-fledged nonprofit on the fly.
The Premier Event
On March 21, the Millennial Spirits of New Orleans hosted “Cocktails Against Crime.” The event was a success, with over 200 attendees gathered to honor the NOPD and the New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation. Following the law enforcement theme, the party offered mug shots and the chance to put friends in “jail” (and later bail them out). Catered food, a DJ and door prizes rounded out the event. In the end, Cocktails Against Crime raised over $16,000 for Safe Cam NOLA, a NOPD initiative that encourages citizens to provide security camera footage to help police solve crimes.
Looking to the future, Millennial Spirits is considering making Cocktails Against Crime an annual event, as well as hosting an additional event in the Fall.
“Whether you’re a Millennial or you’re older, giving back doesn’t have to be difficult. Crime is something we can all fight together. We can make city safer for our parents, grandparents, and the future,” Robert says.