Good Karma Wedding Favors - Donating to the Community

2013 Dec 17 - by Preeti
After we've discussed the over opulence of the two Mittal weddings, today is about taking a different path and considering those less fortunate.

Probably none of us here have the kind of money to build a hospital or name a school after ourselves or our parents or children, but we all have the ability to make a difference.

You can consider donation fund for several events at your wedding festivities. Instead of wedding favors, you can make a donation in each of the guest's names. At Tina & Raj's and Debika and Taki's weddings, they made a donation instead of giving gifts to the guests. To help share that with them, they printed thank you cards for each guest.

You can also suggest guests donate to a particular charity in lieu of receiving wedding presents. This is a great idea if your wedding and your guests are scattered across the world, making it difficult to carry gifts around. Plus, if you already have everything in your home and kitchen, you can suggest donations.

If you want to be more hands on with giving back to the community, there are a few options. Talk to caterer and find out how the leftover food will be used. Can you donate it to a homeless shelter? If not, can you offer it to all the staff at the venue?

Or, if you want to feed a large number of people, talk to a soup kitchen and work with them to provide food for their guests for a day or two.

You can also speak to homeless shelters and find out what they need. Many need toiletry kits and simple coloring books for children. Perhaps you can make "gift bags" for the homeless instead of gift bags for your guests.

Whatever you do, pick a non-profit that means something to you and your spouse. Below, we've picked some of our favorite charities. Some are cross-border, but many are small and work in specific regions. All are great options.

Primeros Pasos - Guatemala - Health Care

Mission: Primeros Pasos aims to improve the quality of life of the rural communities of the Palajunoj Valley of Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, through integrated health education projects and access to medical services.


Planned Parenthood - United States - Sexual & Reproductive Health Care

Mission: To provide comprehensive reproductive and complementary health care services in settings which preserve and protect the essential privacy and rights of each individual.


CRHP - Comprehensive Rural Health Project, Jamkhed, India - Health Care

Mission: To empower people to eliminate injustices through integrated efforts in health and development. CRHP works by mobilizing and building the capacity of communities to achieve access to comprehensive development and freedom from stigma, poverty and disease.

Note, they are not a US or UK tax certified non-profit as they are based in India.


Asha for Education - Worldwide/India - Education

Mission: To catalyze socio-economic change in India through education of underprivileged children.

My Sahana - United States - Mental Health

Mission: To reduce stigma and increase awareness about emotional health and wellness in the South Asian community. Through easy-to-understand descriptions of numerous emotional health issues, educational workshops and culturally sensitive coping strategies, we hope to empower the South Asian community to realize their inner fortitude, take charge of their mental health and make better and more informed decisions for a healthy lifestyle.


Big Life Foundation - Africa - Anti-Poaching/Conservation (Elephants/Rhinos)

Mission: Conservation supports the people and people support conservation.

Big Life’s vision is to establish a successful holistic conservation model in Amboseli-Tsavo that can be replicated across the African continent.


World Wildlife Fund - Worldwide - Conservation

Mission: To conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth.

Our vision is to build a future in which people live in harmony with nature.


House Rabbit Society - United States - Animal Welfare

Mission: Through our fostering program, volunteers rescue abandoned rabbits and find permanent adoptive homes for them.

Through education, we seek to reduce the number of unwanted rabbits — and to improve bunnies’ lives — by helping people better understand these often misunderstood companion animals.


Humane Society of the United States - United States - Animal Welfare

Mission: To work to reduce suffering and to create meaningful social change for animals by advocating for sensible public policies, investigating cruelty and working to enforce existing laws, educating the public about animal issues, joining with corporations on behalf of animal-friendly policies, and conducting hands-on programs that make ours a more humane world.


Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders) - Worldwide/Distressed Zones - Medicine/Health Care

Mission: To provide assistance to populations in distress, to victims of natural or man-made disasters and to victims of armed conflict. We do so irrespective of race, religion, creed or political convictions.

We hope you feel inspired to pass around some good karma during your happy week of your wedding. Remember it only takes one person to make a difference.