As spring becomes summer, many of us young lawyers are celebrating (or dreading) the beginning of wedding season.
Many couples, including the most recent royal wedding couple, choose to request donations in lieu of gifts. However, another great way to involve volunteerism or charity into a special day is to integrate some worthy causes into the event itself. For young lawyers who are often asked to help plan office showers, retirement parties and summer associate events, this is a great way to be thoughtful and charitable at the same time.
Need a cake or baked goods for your special occasion? Consider Sunflower Bakery, the only inclusive training program in Maryland that prepares young adults with learning differences for employment success in pastry arts, baking or related industries. It’s a community-based social enterprise focused on expanding job training and employment opportunities, and workforce skills learned at Sunflower Bakery and the related Café Sunflower are marketable and transferable. And I speak from experience when I say their cupcakes are delicious!
Favors for your guests? Try Truffles for a Cause, where you can choose from a large array of charitable causes to give your guests a treat and also highlight a cause that is important to the happy couple. This is an excellent way to honor a relative who suffered from an illness or a cause that is meaningful to the happy couple. It is also another vendor where, speaking from experience, I can say produces a great piece of chocolate.
What about a theme for a shower or engagement party? Consider asking guests to bring an object to give to a cause meaningful to the individual or young couple. For one of my friends whose husband started a gardening program at the Baltimore City Public School where he teaches, we asked guests to her shower to bring gardening supplies for the students. For another friend of mine who worked as an immigration lawyer, we asked for books to donate to the Refugee Youth Project, a wonderful program in Baltimore I highlighted a few weeks ago.
For my own wedding shower, my friends asked guests to bring items to donate to the House of Ruth, an organization that helps women and families suffering from domestic violence, where I spent time volunteering in college. This not only personalizes the event, but helps guests learn more about the couple.
All of these are great ways to give back to the community and add a personal touch to something special for someone special.