A reader request:
May I make a request? I've been struggling with something for the last couple of weeks because of a couple of things: I am a Red Cross volunteer and I am reading wedding blogs in preparation for planning a spring wedding and I've seen a bunch of how-to posts for out of town guest bags. I can't get them out of my mind.
When our shelter housed Gustav evacuees, we got so many requests for bags. Folks donate clothes and the Red Cross provides basic necessities, but people need to pack and organize their belongings and all we had were flimsy plastic Wal-Mart bags.
Perhaps you can recommend to brides, wedding guests, and the general public that they can make a Red Cross resident incredibly happy if they donate those same bags. The bags used for testing the gocco, the bags that everyone hopes their guests use later (but the guests know that they won't), or even an extra reusable bag you buy each time you go to the grocery store-- donate them. Ask that your destination wedding guests to put bags they won't use (anonymously, of course!) into a container and drop the whole thing off after your wedding. Order an extra 10 just for that purpose. Or (I'm on a roll here) ask your guests to write a brief "good wishes" note, stick it inside, and THEN donate them. "Best wishes from the family and friends of the happy couple. May your path be well-lit and your luck great."
I only recently started with the Red Cross, and while I understand the motivation that leads brides to want to provide everything for their guests' comfort, perhaps a bit of that (or even just the throwaways from the effort) can be diverted to people who are left without much.
What a great idea!
It looks like the National Red Cross "is unable to accept small, individual donations or collections of items such as clothing, food or cleaning supplies." But I bet your local branch would very much appreciate it. Thanks for the suggestion.