#25: Donate to charity on your special day!

It’s been a wild couple of months of pre-wedding, wedding and post-wedding celebrations!  The whirlwind of events has been unbelievably exhilarating, heart-warming and truly unforgettable.  I’m now a married woman and feel inspired to embark on this new stage of life, in partnership with my husband, with that much more gratitude, giving, action, awareness and love.

My wedding was so memorable and most satisfying for a number of reasons. Firstly, the love I received from my wonderful friends, family and husband is definitely at the top of the list.  Secondly, I felt good about donating to charity on behalf of this special occasion.

I feel so privileged and fortunate to have had all the bells and whistles most girls dream of for their weddings: a creatively colourful bridal shower and a priceless trip with my closest of girlfriends before the wedding, and then a wedding with so many of my out-of-town relatives present, beautiful bridal attire and decor, great food and bodacious entertainment.  While my wedding was relatively simple compared to many other weddings that occur around the world (Will and Kate had their day shortly after mine), the reality is that most people in the world can’t even afford proper food, shelter, safety and education, let alone think about a wedding celebration or even a happy marriage, for that matter. I couldn’t help but think of this fact throughout all of the wedding preparations, so making a significant donation on behalf of our celebration was an important action for both me and my husband.

My husband and I decided to donate to two charities that support causes close to our hearts:  Oxfam Canada and The Canadian Cancer Society. We placed information cards about these organizations on each table at the wedding, notifying guests of our donation and of the primary missions of these charities.  In addition to this, for my bridal shower, I requested donations to be made to these two charities, in lieu of gifts.  The response was most pleasing and satisfying for not only me and husband, but for our guests as well.

Group celebrations are great events for raising awareness of the importance of giving back and donating to important causes. While many people may feel ‘shy’ or too ‘humble’ to publicly express their philanthropic initiatives, communicating such motives to others (as Peter Singer reminds us in his book ‘The Life You Can Save’) is a key step to spreading the seed of altruism and social justice.

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