Who The Folk?! Roni Falck

People have friends and family over brunch all the time. But for many years, Roni Falck and her family host brunches and dinners with a twist. Roni talks with us about the brunches that her and family host several times each year as a way to raise money for organizations and causes around the country. Roni tells us how these got started, how she uses them to teach her kids about tzedakah and tikkun olam, and why what’s happening on the southern border has become important for her, on this week’s who The Folk? Podcast.

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How did you get started on this?

We as a family – my husband and I and our three kids – host brunches or dinners a few times a year, but we invite our friends and family and colleagues and neighbors and to come and gather and hang out, but we also do it for a cause. So we’ll notify people that we’re hosting an event and then pick a nonprofit ahead of time to let everyone know which we’re going to support. Everyone who comes over makes a donation of whatever amount they’re most comfortable with, and then we’ll hang out enjoy a good meal. Kids get to play, adults get to schmooze, and then we raise the money for a great organization.

Over the course of the more than five years, you’ve been doing it what are some of the organizations that you’ve worked with and talk a little bit about what your focus is turned to recently?

When we first started doing this we just found different organizations that we wanted to support. So some of the first organizations we did was a heat-share program, which helped support families that needed help covering their heating bills. Over the last few years, we’ve started doing other organizations that just seem timely to us. We’ve recently hosted a brunch for Protect Minnesota, which works to promote sensible gun laws here in Minnesota. Most recently in the last year, we’ve had a really strong focus on supporting families at the border. We’ve done some fundraisers for an organization called RAICES, and another organization called the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights. We felt like this was something that we could do as a family to support the families that have been separated down at the border.

We have three children and we knew that our time was somewhat limited but we wanted to try and think of a way that would involve our kids and so we decided that we would invite people to our home and our kids would be involved, and see people coming to our home to support a specific organization and see that they have a role that they can play. Their role has sort of involved has evolved over the years as they’ve gotten older they’ve gotten really into it.

Your next brunch is coming up on August 4; what organization are you helping support this time?

We’re helping an organization called KIND, which stands for Kids In Need of Defense, and they provide advocacy and are working to end child separations down at the border. This event is a little bit different because when we sent out that invitation for this brunch, we did something different where we asked everyone who’s sort of been coming to our branches for the last number of years to consider hosting an event of their own. And it doesn’t have to be a brunch; we sent a list of a number of different options like a kicked ball game, or a softball game, or a playdate, or a car wash. Any type of thing that you could think of that would help raise money and to think about hosting an event for an organization that they are interested in supporting.

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