Written as part of Bodler Giving's Global Givers initiative by a regional partner.
In 2013 I did something somewhat out of the ordinary in Romania. My husband and I donated all cash gifts from our wedding to charity. It amounted to 10,000 euros and it was my first major donation.
Several years ago I decided to volunteer, but my job, with its weekly travels, prevents me from doing so. So the next best thing is to donate. For a while I donated around 50 euros each time to various causes, such as treatme
nt for the ill, Christmas gifts for children, setting up a public library and so on. I didn't grasp the impact of a big donation until I spoke to volunteers at my parents-in-law's foundation, in Germany. They showed me how big pledges can help develop long-term projects for disadvantaged children and people with disabilities. During planning our wedding, my husband came up with the idea of donating the cash gifts from the event to those in need. So we started visiting projects in Bucharest to see how they were run and meeting people who volunteer and manage them. Their enthusiasm and dedication gave us the motivation to contribute with money where they put their time.
One of the things I most care for is the fate of lonely elders. There are very few donations for senior citizen programs because people tend to give more to children's causes. They forget about the elders. The Community Foundation in Bucharest helped us find the organization that would cater to our need. We chose the one that had the most dedicated volunteers and managers because we knew the donation would have the impact we wanted: the Princess Margarita of Romania Foundation.
With our gift, the foundation was able to organize a year worth of trips and activities for the elders they take care of. The best moment, for me, was when they sent us photos from the trips. I cried when I saw how happy they were and wished I could help more people experience and enjoy a few more beautiful moments. Now I want to support other programs that help elders find their place in the world: both financial help and activities that keep them energized, creative and connected.
I wish that all the people who donate their money and time would tell their story. I have a friend who teaches English every Saturday in an orphanage, another friend who runs marathons to set up public libraries in villages, colleagues to save animals and more. I believe there's no greater joy than helping others.
And maybe, who knows, soon we'll have more weddings and baptisms where the gifts become fuel for a bigger change.