Monday, February 05, 2007

Making any event a charitable affair

I attended a very, very fancy family event this weekend. Black tie, exquisite decor, fabulous food, etc. The hosts of the event are a generous pair, giving lots to their family and giving lots of money to charity. The weekend also included brunches, casual lunches and dinners, etc. So it got me to thinking: how can we take events like weddings and Bat Mitzvahs and infuse them with a reminder to be generous and to give generously? What about:
  • Inviting guests to make donations in honor of the celebrant
  • Making a commitment as a family (and as the hosts) to make charitable donations worth 10% of the cost of the event
  • Donating a portion of gifts received to charity
  • At one of the casual events, have info about favorite charities available on people's tables - or include them in people's gift bags
  • Donating leftover food to the needy
  • Bringing leftover flower arrangements to a nursing home, hospital, etc.
  • Creating gift registries at the I Do Foundation, where the guests of honor can register at places like Linens n' Things or Target, and the stores will donate a percentage of what is spent to charity
  • Donating a gently worn formal gown (like a bridal gown) to a local organization that can pass it along to someone in need (organizations like women's shelters or places of worship can help you find an appropriate person to receive the donation)