The 18th Charlotte Oktoberfest is fast approaching. In fact, tickets are already on sale. One of the oldest beer festivals with the highest turnout in the surrounding area, Charlotte Oktoberfest is known for its hoppy, foamy fun. But what celebrants might not know about the event is that, since being able to cover its own production costs in 2001, Charlotte Oktoberfest has donated more than $615,000 to specifically chosen charities. Each year, the festival selects a handful of charitable causes and donates significant amounts of its proceeds to these organizations. One such organization is Operation Homefront.

A 501c3 non-profit organization, Operation Homefront is dedicated to providing assistance and support for military families. This means that more than 92% of the operating costs of Operation Homefront goes to programs that aid active military members, wounded service members and military veterans. The programs provided by the organization include emergency financial assistance, housing provision and support programs for family members and caregivers. Through these numerous programs, Operation Homefront seeks to stabilize home environments while preventing financial instability and homelessness. The organization’s dedication to good-faith practices has allowed it to enjoy a four-star rating with Charity Navigator for the past decade.

Operation Homefront was chosen by the Charlotte Oktoberfest committee to receive donations in 2015 after a lengthy interview process in which its work and track record were discussed. The local Area Director of Operation Homefront, Mr. Darden Blow, said that donations from Charlotte Oktoberfest helped the organization to pursue its goal of developing strong, stable and secure military families around the country. Donations from the festival primarily went to two programs. The Critical Assistance Program helps families in need with rent, mortgage, critical baby items, home repair and other financial strains. The Back to School Brigade provides backpacks full of school supplies to children of military families. Both programs, said Area Director Darden Blow, were boosted by income from Charlotte Oktoberfest in 2015.

While many beer festivals provide a fun time for celebrants to sample brews and enjoy the day, visitors to Charlotte Oktoberfest can revel in the knowledge that the money they spend goes to charities that improve lives. As we’ve seen with Operation Homefront, such monetary support can have huge impacts. Tickets to Charlotte Oktoberfest are available online here, but act fast, because VIP tickets are selling out quickly.