The Same House, an Atlanta-based community services movement, held its annual Beloved Benefit at the Georgia World Congress Center and raised $8.8 million in a matter of minutes to support the work of local Atlanta non-profit organizations.
Maria Taylor and Chris Tucker hosted the event as local Atlanta change-makers, CEOs, and leaders gathered around for a shared evening of networking and fundraising. Singer John Legend gave musical performances throughout the night, and Chris Tucker interlaced an unforgettable comedy skit into the program as he spoke about his own childhood in Atlanta and how “everyone takes care of everyone in this community.”
Rodney Bullard, CEO of The Same House, hosted the first Beloved Benefit back in 2019. “The purpose was to bring all of Atlanta together,” Bullard stated in a discussion with Atlanta News First. The focus was to bring all of the Atlanta ‘homegrown’ corporations into the same room and acknowledge their generosity to their own community.
The Presenting Honorees for the event included The Home Depot CEO Ted Decker and his wife Cathy, Georgia Power CEO Kim Greene and her husband Ted, as well as Chick-fil-A President Tim Tassopoulos and his wife, Maria. The Beloved Benefit co-chairs were Peach Bowl CEO Gary Stokan and his wife Tia as well as Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation President Fay Twersky and her wife Jill Blair.
The 2023 non-profit organization beneficiaries include Urban League of Greater Atlanta, Westside Future Fund, Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta, First Step Staffing and Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs (RICE).
Zoe Oli, RICE’s Youngest Stakeholder & CEO of Beautiful Curly Me, gave a speech acknowledging the help from Atlanta community key players like RICE and the importance of instilling leadership confidence at a young age. “I achieved this milestone because people believed in me,” Oli said. Oli earned six figures in her business by the time she was in the fourth grade. She shares that her time as a Stakeholder at the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs helped mold her progression as a CEO and business owner.
Andre Dickens tied in his theme of the year, “Year of the Youth” by acknowledging that Beloved Benefit is making a tangible impact on the young people of Atlanta and all Atlanta citizens alike. “Atlanta is great, but we are not perfect,” Dickens said. “Atlanta is a group project, and through this work we are creating better economic outcomes for our neighbors.”
This year’s Beloved Benefit also focused on the importance of mental health awareness within the Atlanta community. The mental health beneficiaries include Chris 180, Silence the Shame, and Hillside Atlanta. “The COVID-19 pandemic shined a spotlight on the increasing number of mental health issues that are affecting so many people in Atlanta, Georgia and the country,” Bullard shared. “We wanted to make sure some of the funds raised by the Beloved Benefit are available to these three outstanding organizations to help them in furthering their important outreach in the community to those in need.”
Late congressman John Lewis was memorialized throughout the evening as his quote “We’re one people. We’re one family. We all live in the same house,” inspired the birth of the initiatives instilled in the mission of The Same House organization and the Beloved Benefit that are helping so many Atlantans achieve fruitful lives today.
View Kelly Jordan’s photos from Beloved Benefit below.