Cary, NC — Six years ago, the folks at Ruckus Pizza, Pasta, & Spirits decided they wanted to make their employee Christmas party mean more than just a fun celebration among coworkers.
Six Years of “Raising a Ruckus”
Thinking about the community and about all of the school events and team parties that they cater to, the staff decided to find someone who needed assistance. They reached out to a counselor at one of the schools in Cary who identified two families in need of support that holiday season.
The Ruckus team stepped in to help and it took off each year from there with the help of the community getting involved. The term “Raising a Ruckus” was given to the yearly fundraising event and last year, 45 families across eight schools in the western Wake area were the recipients of $50,000 in gifts and support.
How it Works
Each of the five restaurants hosts a tree that is decorated with ornaments of Christmas wishes. The “wishes” that are written on the ornaments represent the needs of children in the community who are hoping for a few presents under the Christmas Tree.
School councilors identify local families in need, then volunteers come together to create the hundreds of ornaments. The trees typically go up by mid-November, and restaurant patrons and local business members come to select ornaments.
Owner Robert Royster says these are, more often than not, families who aren’t receiving assistance from other associations or government agencies.
By mid-December, all of the gifts are returned to the restaurants and volunteers are again assembled, this time for a day of sorting, when gifts are grouped by family. The counselors come to pick up the bags of gifts and get them to the families who may not have otherwise had Christmas gifts at home.
Want to Pitch In? Here’s How!
To volunteer, fund a family or even have your own Raising A Ruckus Tree, visit the fundraising website.
If you simply want to select an ornament for gifting or donate to Raising A Ruckus, visit one of the Ruckus restaurants in Apex, Cary, Raleigh, or Morrisville.
Story from staff reports. Photos courtesy of Ruckus Pizza.
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