I have tons of good deeds on the docket today so I figured I would summarize them all as succinctly as possible into one post. First, I want to thank everyone who came through to support our troops. The Care Package drive was a success and you did not disappoint! We will be shipping off the items to our adopted solider Manuel. Adopt a Solider is always in need of people to adopt a solider, so visit their website if you feel inclined. Adopting a soldier can involve nothing more than sending letters or even just emails of support. It’s safe to say that there is at least one civilian for every US soldier and then some, so there should never be a shortage of people willing to step up and offer a little support to our troops. All the boxes in the background are filled with items as well! Imagine a bunch of soldiers smacking on gum and spitting sun flower seeds while reading books and playing slap jack. Their downtime just got way more exciting, which is a bonus since I doubt they have much of it.
You may remember that our June charity efforts involved sending a kid to camp. Our goal was to raise $1000 to send one child with a terminal or serious illness to Camp Soaring Eagle. We were unable to raise $1000 during the month of June but the money kept coming in at the Red Rock Cafe so we kept the signs up. I am happy to report that as of yesterday we have collected $1,170.59! A BIG thank you to all the generous people who have donated and continue to donate to this amazing cause! Kyle and I are major proponents of this charity and their efforts to bring joy to children and their families. We have spent a good deal of time working behind the scenes but on Sunday we finally had the opportunity to be a part of a camp session. A family camp session is taking place this week at the Briar Patch Inn, in Oak Creek Canyon. On a side note, this has to be one of the most beautiful places I have ever been and an absolutely ideal place for a wedding. Had they not capped guest count at 25, I may have made a last minute switch! Anyway, this session is for children 5 and under who have cancer. However parent’s and siblings are also involved in this session for what makes for an amazing summer vacation get away completely free of charge for the families. I spent about 3 hours at the Briar Patch and left feeling more relaxed than when I arrived so they are guaranteed to be revived after a week of the best of what Sedona has to offer! Kyle and I helped with dinner service and I was filled with a mix of emotions. I couldn’t stop smiling as the kids were adorable and if they didn’t have little bald heads, you would have never known they were sick. That is perhaps the best thing about kids, they are able to maintain happy little attitudes despite enduring something so unbearable. In addition, at the age of 3, you really have nothing to compare to. My heart also broke for their families and the struggle they are faced with. I was always passionate about this cause but to see those smiling little faces, the babies, and the excitement over the simple things, like spider man face paint, gave this process a whole new meaning. This week the families will enjoy a Pink Jeep tour, a visit from Out of Africa, magic shows, crafts and so much more. For just a week, they get to escape and just be a family as it should be, without the stress of hospitals and treatments.
Next up, Our Charity Water Campaign is nearing its end and we still have $145 to raise to meet our goal. We have 11 days left! A small donation can go a long way towards changing someone’s life for the better. The lack of clean water means communities are ridden with sickness and disease, children are skipping school in order to spend their days collecting water for their families, and risking their lives to travel many miles just in the hopes of finding water. Charity Water will build a well in these communities and will literally change these people’s lives forever. A clean water source provides sanitation as well as a platform for economic growth as they can raise livestock and plant crops with access to plentiful water. $20 can provide one person with water for $20 years! I pay well over that per month for water! No donation is too small, please consider helping us meet our goal so that we can serve more people!
When we started this Charity Wedding Project we created some “rules” that served as a jumping off point for getting started. As the process has progressed and vendors have made suggestions, we have evolved. One of our original plans was to select 3 charities to benefit from this process. However at this point we think larger amounts of money will be more beneficial for the charities involved so we have decided to support two. We selected Camp Soaring Eagle and we put the other selection out to our vendors. Melissa Dunstan, who was our first vendor on board and has been instrumental at making this effort a success, made the final decision. Here is what she had to say about the charity she selected:
“I’m involved in so much charity work up here in Flagstaff… But, the one that keeps coming to the front of my list is Second Chance Center for Animals. I’m sure you know about them, they are Flagstaff’s only no-kill shelter. They are not only a shelter for unwanted animals looking for a forever home, but they also offer low cost spay-neuter services, veterinary care, and even behavioral training to increase the human-pet bond. I’ve volunteered with this group during the fires to help them evacuate animals, from not one, but two facilities. (The Humane Association and their own facility). I was so impressed with their staff, their organization skills under pressure, but most importantly their compassion. I also know from talking with their administration, that they are constantly looking for financial assistance to keep up with their ever growing needs. For instance, tonight, they have set up an emergency evacuee shelter for pets at Ft. Tuthill to help people who have evacuated their home from the floods and cannot take their pet with them. I can’t imagine how heart wrenching it would be not to know where I could take my animals in case of emergency, and am so relieved they are there now caring for the animals that have to be stressed and afraid.”
Melissa is one of three members who make up the fabulous wedding trio that is Celebrations Studio. We continue to be impressed by their generosity and grateful beyond words for their support. I actually did a Charity Spotlight on Second Chance Center for Animals way back when this process started and could not be more pleased with the selection!
August is now upon us (which means only two months til wedding day, eeek!) which means a brand spanking new charity effort. We have decided to hold a school supply drive for local schools! Families and schools alike are struggling to make ends meet and the start of school means a whole bunch of expenses! Many times teachers purchase supplies out of their own pockets when the school’s budgets are too tight to allow for certain things. In an effort to help we will collect items that benefit the classroom such as: tissues, sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer, paper towels, crayons, new back packs, new lunch boxes, scissors, glue, etc. We’d also be glad to accept gift cards which families can use to purchase new shoes or clothes or that teachers can use for supplies throughout the year. Drop off locations include:
- Red Rock Cafe- Village of Oak Creek, Next to Weber’s (Weber’s is also holding a drive if you want to drop off things when the cafe is closed)
- Camp Verde Family Chiropractic- In addition we are offering a FREE initial exam and report of findings to anyone who brings in a new backpack or a bag of school supplies.
- If anyone else wants to serve as a drop off location, let me know!
On a final note, we are entered in the Weddzilla Wedding Blog Guru Awards. We’d appreciate if everyone would take a moment and vote for The Charity Wedding. There is no registering involved, it’s as simple as clicking the arrow next to our name or submitting the blog again. This drives a lot of new traffic to the blog and is a great source of exposure for our charities! We need to stay in the top 25 so help us spread the word!
As always, Thank you to everyone who has supported this process and who have given generously. In our eyes we have already achieved our dream wedding and it hasn’t even happened yet!