Named for Porché’s daughter, Charlie Mae, Mae’s Mission has granted $18,000 in the last year to organizations like Lake Charles Pit Bull Rescue, Room In The Inn, Hobo Hotel, Merryville Society & Historical Museum, the Children’s Theatre Company, and others.
When Mae’s Mission launched in 2019, founder Emily Porché knew that something special had happened and the nonprofit world in Southwest Louisiana would be better for it. “Over the last few years, the need to recognize and support the often-forgotten nonprofits in our community has grown,” said Porché. “So many nonprofits have small budgets, little to no staff, or don’t have the resources to host a large fundraiser. Mae’s Mission became a way for these nonprofits to receive no-strings-attached funding.” With the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic and Hurricanes Laura and Delta, Mae’s Mission pivoted to fund nonprofits directly affected from the year 2020.
The first round of funding provided dollars to organizations that were affected by COVID-19. “The grant helped nonprofits that had to furlough their staff, cancel events, or saw a reduction in income because of COVID-19,” Porché said. “Then we turned around and focused our next grant cycle on nonprofits that were hit again by the hurricanes. Where there was a need, we wanted to help fill it.”
Named for Porché’s daughter, Charlie Mae, Mae’s Mission has granted $18,000 in the last year to organizations like Lake Charles Pit Bull Rescue, Room In The Inn, Hobo Hotel, Merryville Society & Historical Museum, the Children’s Theatre Company, and others. The grant money is given without strict reporting requirements or stipulations; simply put, the nonprofit can use it for nearly anything they need. “When you see the resiliency and strength of a community like the Lake Area, you feel inspired to give back as much as you can and become part of the greater good,” added Porché.
Funding comes from a unique source – online crowdsourcing. Mae’s Mission’s Board of Directors is made of engaged community leaders who decided to put skin in the game when it came to fundraising. For two summers in a row, Mae’s Mission hosted a competitive Facebook fundraiser, and paired with other sponsorships and donations, the organization was able to raise a strong amount of funds. “We don’t keep what we raise; we always plan to give it back to the community,” Porché said.
Mae’s Mission’s next goal is to host its first annual fundraiser, which will fund the next round of grants. On August 21, the Burton Coliseum will be the site of the Mae’s Mission Game Night, a single elimination tournament of everyone’s favorite competitive games, like Charades, Pictionary, Hedbandz, and Taboo. Businesses and individuals are invited to form a team and go for the gold.
“With this fundraiser, we can fund more nonprofits that have fallen through the cracks in our area,” explained Porché. “We also wanted to host a very different type of event that will bring out the fun, competitive spirit in everyone.” A cash bar, concessions, games, and a raffle will also be on-site. The tournament game play is for those ages 21 and over.
Team registration fees begin at $400 and the deadline to sign up is July 23. Learn more at www.maesmission.org. Mae’s Mission Game Night is sponsored by CITGO, CSE Federal Credit Union, CHRISTUS Oschner Health Southwest Louisiana, and Thrive Magazine.