Festival of Flavors to Help Opening Doors

By Guest Blogger Carson Carter

Would you like to enjoy international cuisine from countries as diverse as Afghanistan, Japan, Mexico and much more? Want to enjoy food from our great local restaurants — Kru, Cielito Lindo, Malfoofe’s— while enjoying local craft beer, regional wines, and Two Rivers Cider?

Then mark your calendars for a lovely fall evening event, Festival of Flavors, on October 22nd at Sierra 2 Community Center’s Curtis Hall (2791 24th Street).


You’ll have fun while also supporting a good cause: Opening Doors is a local nonprofit that resettles refugees, provides financial capabilities programs for immigrants, immigration and legalization services, and case management for survivors of human trafficking.

As a nonprofit, we rely on the generosity and support of those who believe in our mission to empower refugees, immigrants, human trafficking survivors and underserved Sacramento residents to achieve self-sufficiency by accessing opportunities to mainstream economic and social systems.

ethiopean-2In addition to great food for a good cause, Festival of Flavors will also host a silent auction that will feature the works of local artists, wine tasting, dinners at local restaurants, local craft coffee baskets and other great items.

In addition to seeking sponsorships, tickets can be purchased for $40 before the event at https://festivalofflavors2016.eventbrite.com


WHY OPENING DOORS MATTERS TO ME: I started my career out of college as a Human Resources Manager within the retail industry. I worked for Target for nearly 10 years, and I realized that I was missing out on achieving the career goals I had set for myself as a young idealist.

In college, I studied International Affairs, Economics, and French because I wanted to work for an NGO with a noble, selfless cause. But, because my husband is in the Air Force, and we are uprooted frequently, it was easier to stay at a large company where I could laterally transfer when the time came. I recognized this couldn’t be the only reason to stay at a job that I was not passionate about.

I left my job as an HR Manager; and cliché or not, I did some deep soul searching. I applied for a position at another refugee resettlement agency in town, without any luck, but knew after my interview that I needed to be a part of this cause. After my rejection, I researched other ways to get involved. I began volunteering with Opening Doors as a Volunteer Coordinator and after a month of dedicating my time to the organization (and of course an interview!), our CEO, Deborah Ortiz offered me with Communications & Development Specialist position.

I’m grateful to be working for such an inclusive organization that helps not only refugees, but immigrants, survivors of human trafficking, and underserved Sac area residents!

Carson Carter has spent most of her life in the DC suburbs, and she’s lived in Sacramento for a year now. I love Sacramento’s attention to important social issues, the “big-little” city feel, and honestly, the beer!  Opening Doors’ mission to empower the most vulnerable in Sacramento makes me proud to be the organization’s Communications & Development Specialist.




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