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Newlyweds Support Local Charity In Lieu Of Party Favors

Published: September 14, 2018 at 07:00 am

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Tiny bottles of champagne, tubes of bubbles, matchbooks — there are a number of traditional items people choose to gift as party favors in order to thank their guests for attending their wedding.

Doing a “favor,” though, at its essence involves an act of kindness that goes above and beyond what is expected from someone.

Newlyweds Megan Gibbons and Stephen Miller did just that when they mutually decided to have the money intended for party favors go towards the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation, a charity centered around spreading kindness.

The nonprofit foundation was created to honor the compassionate life of first grader Catherine Hubbard, who died at Sandy Hook Elementary School on 12/14. The organization seeks to not only build an animal sanctuary, but it also currently conducts free monthly programs called Sundays at the Sanctuary designed to help people connect with nature and its creatures.

Ms Gibbons grew up in Sandy Hook, where her family still resides, and attended the same elementary school as Catherine.

“My favorite days of school were walks with Mr [George] Stockwell on the trails. That curiosity transformed into a passion as I got older…” Ms Gibbons explained. “The amazing educational programs, conservation efforts, and message of kindness that the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation was founded upon [are] very close to my heart.”

Even though Mr Miller, a native of Exeter, N.H., did not grow up in Newtown, he learned about the local organization from his wife and was confident it was the right choice for where to send their wedding donation.

“[Megan’s] family has showed me how much love and kindness is possible. Her upbringing and the importance of a program like this to the children of her hometown made this a perfect way to spread the kindness,” he said. “Coming from an animal-loving home myself, I thought this was perfect. I’d much rather support a great cause than waste money on little gifts no one would remember.”

On the day of their July 6 wedding at Brookfield’s Candlewood Inn, the couple put a small card at each place setting that announced their decision to donate to the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation instead of supply party favors.

The card read, “To our family and friends, after much thought and consideration, we have chosen a special way to say ‘Thank you’ for sharing our wedding day with us. In lieu of traditional wedding favors, we have made a donation in your honor to [the] Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary. We truly appreciate your presence on this special occasion as we begin our lives together.”

The following month, the foundation posted a photo on its Facebook page of the couple visiting the sanctuary and thanked them for their donation in support of the sanctuary.

Jenny Hubbard, Catherine’s mother and president of the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation, expressed her appreciation for the couple’s donation, telling The Newtown Bee, “When we receive notes letting us know people have included the sanctuary in their milestones and most sacred moments, we are not only humbled but reminded of the love and kindness that lies at the very heart of the sanctuary. We are truly grateful for the support and generosity of Megan and Stephen.”

Those interested in learning more about the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation can visit cvhfoundation.org or follow the group on Facebook and Instagram.

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