A season for giving

If you’re like me, you feel like there’s never enough time to do all the things you want to do. Between work, school, family and a personal life, sometimes it’s hard, if not impossible to carve out time to do something truly good, and selfless, no matter how much you might wish to. If you’re like me, this feeling that you’re not doing enough intensifies around the holidays when you’re reminded of all that you have, and conversely all that some people have to do without; a roof over their heads, a family, their health. So if you’re like me, this is generally the time of year that you kick into action. I volunteer my time to serve a hot meal to the homeless through a community soup kitchen, or donate clothes to the Good Will. I wish I could say that this effort is sustained throughout the year, but I’m working on that.

If you’re looking for a worthy cause this season, or any time of the year.try this on for size. The Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation is an organization founded by Fran and Anna, a mother-daughter team, whose mission is to, like their name aptly suggests, help advanced breast cancer patients fulfill a wish that will make a lasting memory. These wishes can be as simple as owning a puppy, taking their families to Disneyworld, or going on a second honeymoon. Fran and Anna’s goal is so focused, and their intentions so pure, they leave no room for skepticism; you know precisely where your contribution is going and what kind of impact it will make. They also have a very creative approach to realizing their goals. The foundation’s biggest fund raising effort is called “Brides Against Breast Cancer” nationwide tour of gowns. Here’s how it works:

1 You donate your used wedding gown.The donation is tax deductible.
2 The gowns are taken on a tour of US cities, and sold to brides who attend the shows at a huge discount.
3 The money goes toward making a breast cancer patient’s dream come true.

Through generous donations from gown designers, makers, retailers, and from individuals like you, the foundation has accumulated over 20,000 gowns with labels that range from Vera Wang and Carolina Herrera to the styles you would find at huge chains like David’s Bridal.

So here’s the pitch.I know wedding gowns can be expensive, and we get attached to them for sentimental reasons. But if you think about it, after you wear it once, chances are it will hang in your closet and collect dust. If you plan to donate your gown after your wedding day, you can not only justify spending a little more for the gown you really love, but also do it guilt-free. And as for sentimental attachments.imagine how good you will feel every time you think about that gown, knowing that its value went towards making a cancer patient’s dream come true. It’s a win-win situation.

There are lots of ways you can get involved. Check out their website, listed below, for a listing of upcoming Tours. If you have a wedding dress, bridesmaid dress, shoes, accessories, etc. that you’d like donate, instructions and an address to ship to can be found on the site as well. If there’s a dress show coming to your area, email Fran about volunteer opportunities. That’s what I plan to do. And I think it’s going to be a great way to start the new year. Feel free to email me for more information. winnie@beau-coup.com.

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