Engraved dandiya sticks, monogrammed candles, chai spices, dupattas, potli bags, boxes of mithai…when it comes to wedding favors we’ve just about seen it all. But what happens to these favors after the party’s over? 9 times out of 10 they’re either forgotten at the party or tossed in the trash. And if you have leftover favors? Well, let’s just say that my box of coozies have found a comfortable home in my attic for going on 3 years. Even though your creative and IG-worthy favor may go unappreciated, there’s a better way to thank your guests for coming without all the added waste – and that’s by donating.
Charitable donations in lieu of wedding favors may not be a new trend, but we LOVE that it continues to be a popular choice for couples year-after-year. While you and your partner can choose any cause near and dear to your hearts, we wanted to help you out by listing some of our favorite local, national and global charities.
Nearly 5.9 million children will not see their fifth birthday due to preventable and treatable illnesses like pneumonia and diarrhea. For 35 years Curamericas Global has been partnering with forgotten communities around the world to change that and save the lives of women and children. Through the use of evidence-based solutions, Curamericas has reached more than 1.4 million people in rural parts of Latin America, Africa, and even in our own backyard (Wake County, NC and Philadelphia, PA). To read more about the life-changing work that Curamericas Global does, click here.
For just a few dollars, Curamericas provides comprehensive life-saving education, care, and preventative treatment for a mother and her family for an entire year. Various giving levels are available from $28 (reaches 9 families with healthcare for an entire year) to $2,500 (supports house-to-house visitation and family support for one year in a community of 1,000 people).
The only organization of its kind in North Carolina, since 1998 Kiran has been on a mission to end the cycle of abuse and to serve and empower South Asian victims of domestic violence. Uniquely qualified to provide culturally-specific services to the South Asian population, Kiran works tirelessly to support clients as they build skills and access resources necessary to become fully self-sufficient. To read more about the work that Kiran does, click here.
Various giving levels are available. Donations go towards transportation assistance, purchasing groceries, legal assistance, driving lessons, and counseling/mental health services.
NORTH CAROLINA ASIAN AMERICANS TOGETHER (NCAAT)
NCAAT is a non-partisan nonprofit working on training future leaders and increasing representation for communities of Asian descent in NC to strengthen our democracy. The Indian American population in North Carolina alone has more than doubled in the past decade, which makes it even more important for Indian faces, views, and needs to be heard in the public arena. To read more about the work that NCAAT does, click here.
Various giving levels are available. $25 sponsors resources for a student through a one-day leadership training program, $100 supports a student through a more in-depth 3-day summer training camp. Any amount between $5-500 goes a long way to help with resources and ensure that voices from our community are heard and represented.
THE FLOWER SHUTTLE
The Flower Shuttle is on a mission to recycle flowers to our neighbors living with sickness, terminal illness, poverty and disability who don’t normally get flowers. To read more about the work that The Flower Shuttle does, click here.
Your wedding flowers. Click here to find out more about guidelines and scheduling for donations.
National & Global
ARBOR DAY FOUNDATION
The Arbor Day Foundation is on a mission to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. It is the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees with over one million members, supporters, and partners. To read more about the work that the Arbor Day Foundation does, click here.
Gift trees year round with customized labels for your wedding day at various giving levels. Tubed trees start at $4 per tree.
OneHope was founded by eight friends with a lofty vision: to create exceptional products that inspire people to indulge while doing good. To date they have made more than $3 million in donations, provided 46,000 people with global health care, 49,000 forever homes for shelter animals, 1.8 million meals for children, 163,000 life-saving vaccines, and much more. Selected nonprofits are supported by pairing them strategically with wines so each varietal matches a cause category. To read more about the work that OneHope does, click here.
The cost of a bottle of wine starts at $19.99 and can go as high as $360 per bottle. Each varietal is pre-matched to a cause.
TEN THOUSAND VILLAGES
Ten Thousand Villages is a maker-to-market movement that provides a way for you to shop with intention for ethically-sourced wares. As a pioneer of fair trade, you can trust that every handmade purchase made directly impacts the life and community of its maker in a developing country. To learn more about the work that Ten Thousand Villages does, click here.
Various giving levels available. For more information about meaningful wedding favors, email them at [email protected] Bonus: you can visit any one of their brick and mortar NC locations to scope out some of their wares. Click here to see a complete list of NC stores (Asheville, Cary, Greensboro, Montreat, Durham, and Hickory).
TRUFFLES FOR A CAUSE
Truffles for a Cause combines the gift of gourmet chocolate truffles with a donation of the portion of the proceeds to a charity of your choice. To learn more about Truffles for a Cause, click here.
Cost varies on the size of the order and start as low as $2.49 each. Click here to view order options.
With the understanding that people are going to buy things, Project 7 decided to make things that they’re already purchasing and use them to solve everyday problems around the globe. Simply, they make products that give back to seven areas of need for good around the globe: Feeding the hungry, healing the sick, supporting those who hope for peace, housing the homeless, quenching those who thirst, teaching them well, and saving the earth. To learn more about the work that Project 7 does, click here.
Price varies between $5-20 depending on the choice of gum and packaging.
YES SHE RISES
Devadasi tradition is an illegal practice of religious servitude that denies girls the right to equal opportunities and a safe life. Poverty, illiteracy, and absence of economic opportunities forces Devadasi mothers to give away their daughters to this tradition. Yes She Rises is on a mission to empower South Asian girls subjected to the Devadasi system in Karnataka. To find out more about the work Yes She Rises does, click here.
Various giving levels available. Email [email protected] for more information.
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Digital Beauty Director, Queen City girl, makeup obsessed, lifelong dancer, and cheese aficionado.
Founder & Chief Visionary, proud fur mom of 2, amateur artist, Netflix binger, wino, and chocolate addict.