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Sip For Humani-Tea

Upset by the plight of human trafficking, our Hillsong Sisterhood connect group decided that in 2013 we would hold a fundraiser for the A21 Campaign. We aren’t corporate-type women or move in the corporate world social circles. This, however, did not deter us and so we decided to use what was in our hands. The idea of putting on a high tea seemed daunting at first but as a group totally do-able. Our aim was for our guests to come and enjoy a lavish elegant high tea where they could sample delicious homemade culinary delights in a relaxed atmosphere surrounded with music and art. At the same time, they would also be informed of the work of A21.

Our group is culturally and socially diverse – we are like a mini-United Nations. We also have some amazing cooks, talented musicians, some great organisers and women just willing to do what it takes to pull off the event.

We pooled our resources and also made use of helpful contacts. We were graciously allowed to hold our event in a charming location free of charge. Another fundraiser group allowed us to use their invitations and posters as a template for our event. Hence, our theme became “Sip for Humani-Tea, High Tea For A Cause”. Some of the girls canvassed sponsors. We received gifts for silent auctions and raffles. One company, as well as giving us a $100 gift voucher to auction, also held a mini high tea and raised over $300 for us. We sold cookies as a lead up to the event. One woman for her 50th birthday party, asked guests to donate to A21 instead of buying her presents.

For the event, out came our best china tea cup sets, tiered plates and pots. White aprons were made out of embroidered café curtaining. White tablecloths, chairs, tables gleaned from contacts. We even borrowed the vibrant flower wall from Colour 2013. Some of us coaxed talented friends to be involved on the day or to contribute artwork, culinary skills, or musical talent. Husbands helped with the heavy work – picking up and setting up tables, chairs and props. Daughters helped with setting up and waitressing. One beautiful friend worked tirelessly creating amazing floral centrepieces for the tables and also to sell. The night before, we dressed tables for 80 china teacup settings; folded fan-shaped napkins; hung up bunting; displayed artworks and set up sales tables for cookies, floral art and a silent auction. A dress up corner was set up with props (fascinators, costume jewellery) for photos in front of the flower wall. We had sold over 120 tickets at $25 per head for the afternoon high tea. Our cooks had excelled themselves with delectable sweet and savoury delights.

People were told to come anytime between 12 and 4pm. Our guests were waited on by waitresses who served tea in china pots, coffee in fine china mugs and glasses of punch or water. People relaxed to the soothing tunes from a golden harp and later singing. Plates full of mouth-watering delicacies were served and appreciated. Raffles for baskets of luxury items were snapped up quickly. Photos were taken in front of the flower wall. The video and talk by an A21 staff member was well received and informative. The silent auction, raffles and sales did a flourish and many happy guests walked out the door with their gains. We even sold some of the table floral centrepieces and aprons at the end.

Some guests were reluctant to leave and stayed the whole four hours. Many commented they had a wonderful time. Some asked if there was going to be another high tea next year.

We were able to raise $6000 for A21 from the pre-event and event sales. The event, which took a lot of effort and time in preparation, was enjoyable and rewarding. It showed us what amazing women we have in our group and what we can achieve when we work together and cover the event with prayer. We saw God show up in tangible ways as we saw Him open up doors and possibilities of how we could organise this high tea.