By Karen O’Connor:
In a recent issue of The Wall Street Journal I read about a new trend catching on among brides and grooms before their wedding. One woman, for example, donated 140 cupcakes to a homeless shelter for women and children in place of a bachelorette party. And some couples are now requesting, in lieu of wedding presents, donations of money to purchase chickens, goats, and pigs for impoverished families in third-world countries. What an opportunity this is for people to find God in wedding gifts.
My husband and I made this choice for Christmas last year. Instead of buying the usual tech gizmo or fashion piece, we sent gift certificates to people on our list telling them we’d purchased a chicken and five ducks in their name, and the animals would reach a family in dire need. Honorable charities such as Oxfam America and Heifer International are among the many that make such giving possible. “Giving to charity,” says wedding blogger Nina Callaway (quoted in the newspaper), “is one way of being grounded.” It’s also a way of bringing God into a ceremony that for most people has some spiritual significance.
The wedding industry in the United States today is estimated to be worth more than $70 billion annually. Imagine the good that could be accomplished in the world if more brides and grooms opted for a goat to be sent to Mali instead of receiving yet another pair of silver candlesticks. With such a giving spirit more people might find God in wedding gifts and transform their lives even before they say, “I do.”
Enjoy this informative YouTube video on how to donate living gifts to impoverished communities through Heifer International.
©Karen O’Connor. Karen is an author, writing mentor, and frequent contributor to the Finding God Daily blog. Visit Karen on the web at www.karenoconnor.com