Good Friends Charlotte is a women’s organization supporting individuals and families with financial resources to improve lives and inspire hope.
What is Good Friends?
Box springs and mattresses, door locks for battered women, psychiatric counseling, tools for a carpenter so he can work, orthopedic shoes, camp and daycare fees, air conditioners, medical expenses, utility payments, car repairs – these are only a few of the many ways Good Friends reaches out to help those less fortunate and in desperate situations in our community.
The focus each year is a single luncheon in December, where Good Friends Charlotte gathers its members and first-time-attending guests. The annual membership dues are a modest $65, which help run the administration of the organization for the entire year. Corporate sponsors have helped offset luncheon expenses for the past several years, allowing members and guests to attend the uptown event at no additional charge.
The program centers around actual situations where Good Friends has helped an individual or family in a challenging situation. As one of our founders, Catherine Browning, accurately stated, “we help people in meaningful, small ways.” We have heard expressions of gratitude from the people we have helped as a follow up to the story, helping us all understand more fully the magnitude of our gifts. The impact provided by member and guest donations can last a lifetime and help people move in a more positive direction.
The goal at each luncheon is to communicate with Good Friends members and guests what is happening throughout the year. The central theme revolves around love, hope, and compassion. The festive holiday theme is joyful, non-denominational, and open to all women.
Since our inception, we have raised over $3,000,000 which we have contributed to the Mecklenburg County community. We hope you will help us continue this tradition by joining us and making a difference for those who are less fortunate and need a hand from a Good Friend.
It began in 1987 when four good friends put their heads together over lunch. Catherine Browning, Alice Folger, Sally Saussy, and Patty Norman assembled a diverse group of women to serve as the convening committee of what would become known as Good Friends. Good Friends was modeled after Good Fellows, an organization of men who have met every December since 1917. Like Good Friends, they raise funds for those who need help and have exhausted all other agencies and resources. To hear Catherine Browning tell the story is quite amazing… she said that Colonel Pease said, “There’s no WAY you women can raise money like what we do.” Well, that is ALL they needed to hear!
The first event was held on December 8, 1987 at Christ Episcopal Church with a goal of $16,000. With 400 women attending, they actually doubled their goal raising $32,000. It was the beginning of something special. Since 1987 the organization has continued to grow in size as well as donations, now totalling over $3,000,000.