A Very Special Anniversary

Sarah Ritchie Real Stories, slider, vow renewal

Many years ago, when I was a young bride myself, my then-husband and I decided that we would decline wedding presents.  Although we were of modest means, we felt strongly that our wedding was a celebration of our marriage not an opportunity to collect “stuff.”  We had both suffered the loss of our mothers—my mother fell ill with Multiple Sclerosis and died when I was a girl; his mother died with Alzheimer’s Disease a few months before our wedding.  So, we asked friends and loved ones to donate to the MS Society and/or the Alzheimer’s Foundation, instead of purchasing any gift.  The charities were very cooperative in sending thank you notes to our people and keeping us apprised of donations.  The effort was among my favorite parts of a wedding. 

I was so happy to see that a friend and colleague Travis Terry and his wife Becky Velez did something similar for their 15th wedding anniversary.  Travis and I had met years ago in a leadership training program organized by the CORO Foundation.  It was an exciting opportunity to learn about New York City with like-minded people who worked in all sorts of professions.  Travis and Becky selected 15 worthy charities, with which they had a personal connection, to make donations in honor of their milestone anniversary.  It is such a moving idea, I wanted to share it with others.  Think how much good could be done if we channeled our own blessings in life (birthdays, weddings, anniversaries and more) into helping others.  I hope one of these years, I can gift Travis and Becky with a vow renewal ceremony!

Here is the list of great organizations that our couple gifted:

Alzheimer’s Foundation
Black Lives Matter
Coro New York
Dancing Classrooms
Food bank for New York
loby
Joe Biden for President
Lower East Side Girls Club
Muscular Dystrophy Association
New York Immigration Coalition
Obama Foundation
PowerMyLearning
Queens Community House
Regional Plan Association
Southern Poverty Law Center
The Door
University Settlement