Did you make a new years resolution to get more involved in the community and volunteer your time with a nonprofit in 2012? If so, then tomorrow night is a great opportunity to make that happen at the annual Yelp Helps event, taking place at The Westin in Downtown Columbus. 30 local nonprofits will be represented under one roof, providing attendees with a chance to learn more about their missions and find ways to get involved.
We spoke recently with Christina Christian, Yelp Columbus Community Manager (and stylish fashionista), about what we can expect at tomorrow’s event. Read on for our full Q&A session:
Q: Can you tell us a bit about the history of the Yelp Helps events?
A: Yelp Helps started in Chicago a couple years ago and has since been picked up in many newly-launched Yelp markets ever since. In 2010, more than 200 non-profits and 12 Yelp cities participated nationwide – Columbus included! This year we’ve has also teamed up with Yelp Cincinnati and Cleveland who will also be hosting their own Yelp Helps Ohio events later this month.
Q: What can first time visitors expect at the event?
A: First time visitors can expect an evening of networking, connecting and goodwill. There will be representatives from 30 local non-profits who need support and volunteers. And guests are encouraged to mix ‘n’ mingle with like-minded peeps while enjoying complimentary light bites and beverages from our generous sponsors. Anyone with a Yelp profile is invited to attend this free party, but the RSVP deadline is March 6 (today!) at midnight.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about the different nonprofits featured?
A: We have a wide variety of non-profits who are being represented at this event. From basic need charities like Mid-Ohio Foodbank and LifeCare Alliance to children and special interest organizations like Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Central Ohio, The Cancer Support Community and Local Matters.
Q: What impact does this event have on the local community?
A: The impact this event has on the community extends beyond just one night. Of course guests are encouraged to get more involved in the organizations, but in addition, Yelp Columbus is making the pledge to give back throughout the rest of the year with monthly VYEs (Volunteer Yelp Events.) As an active group of people who get out and check out businesses in the city and write about them on Yelp, we want to also be active in giving back with our time in the community as well!
Q: Anything else you’d like to add?
A: We are all familiar with and saddened by the Chardon High School shootings and obviously for residents of Ohio, this hits a little too close to home. To show our support and let Chardon know we are grieving with them here in Columbus, we’re encouraging all Yelp Helps guests to bring tokens of sympathy and strength or cards (supplies will be provided by Yelp to make one on-site) for the victims and their families.
For more information, and to RSVP, visit http://www.yelp.com/events/columbus-yelp-helps-2.