Not Your Typical Wedding Favor

How a thoughtful and generous idea made a positive impact on raising awareness for a great cause.

 When my friend, Janine Golda-O’Brien, came to me with an idea she had for her wedding reception, it touched my heart. Janine knows that I volunteer at the Wayne Township Animal Shelter and that I’m always trying to promote adoption of the animals there. Janine’s great idea was that instead of giving out the typical wedding favors (candles, engraved glasses, etc.) to her guests at the reception, she wanted to donate supplies to help my animal shelter instead. I thought this was a very thoughtful and unique idea, and was especially grateful that she chose my shelter.  She asked her wedding party, friends and co-workers to donate supplies also and gathered these items over a few months and then personally delivered them to the shelter and also stayed awhile to get to know some of our cats afterwards. 

In the weeks leading up to Janine’s wedding, we created a donation letter which would let her guests know that in lieu of a reception favor, a donation was made in their honor to help the dogs and cats at the Wayne Township Animal Shelter. I asked Janine what she thought of including the photo and name of each of my shelter’s animals in the letter, because simply reading words versus looking into the eyes of a homeless animal have a very different effect on a person.  She was overjoyed with the idea of each of her guests getting their own animal to personally connect with and compare with others at their table.  So, on the day of her wedding, each of her guests received a scroll tied with a bow which included her personal note and one of the dogs or cats at the shelter awaiting adoption and the contact information in the case that anyone was interested in adopting a pet.

I’m on a never-ending quest to raise awareness about adopting shelter pets, and especially trying to get some of my favorite senior cats and long-term shelter residents adopted into loving homes by spreading the word to friends, co-workers and the public. So, Janine’s creative idea was such a great way to advertise my furry friends and get their cute little faces out there for more people to see, and in a very personal way.  My sincere thanks to Janine for her thoughtfulness and generosity and I wish her and Dennis all the best for their future together.  They certainly had a positive impact on the animals at the Wayne Township Animal Shelter and helped to raise awareness for adopting pets in shelters everywhere.  We reached 119 people on the day of Janine’s wedding with an important message and hopefully have inspired some future adoptions!  


Are you ready to bring a new pet into your home and are considering buying from a pet store or breeder? Please take a moment to consider saving the life of a shelter animal instead. Adopting a shelter animal can be so rewarding in many ways and you are helping in more ways than you realize.  And if your mind is set on a pure breed dog or cat, you should know that not all shelter animals are mixed breeds.  If you look on websites like www.petfinder.com you can search by the exact breed that you love and find many animals just waiting for you to adopt them! 

FACT: Each year MILLIONS of unwanted dogs and cats are euthanized. Sadly, the majority of these animals are ideal pets which are well behaved, friendly and affectionate and have no reason to die except that they ran out of time, they may have simply been a statistic of irresponsible pet ownership and abandoned or neglected or just had a bout of bad luck in some form or another.  Shelter animals wait patiently in their metal cages, some for a very long time, for someone to rescue them and give them a chance in a loving forever home.

When you choose to adopt a shelter animal realize that you are truly saving a life!  You are a hero to that cat or dog and your positive action is responsible for allowing them to continue living a happy and fulfilling life. If that isn’t satisfaction enough, I don’t know what is! 

If you decide to adopt a shelter animal into your heart and home, please check out the friendly furry faces just waiting to meet you at the Wayne Township Animal Shelter! 



201 Pompton Plains Crossroads

Wayne, NJ 07470

(Located off Route 23 North; take the Jackson Avenue exit)

Website:  www.petfinder.com/shelters/NJ516.html  

Phone: 973-694-0767

Fax: 973-616-1270

Email: animalshelter@waynetownship.com


Check out the link below to see the many loveable furry friends awaiting adoption at the Wayne Township Animal Shelter!  Many of these animals have very sad stories of abandonment and have been waiting at the shelter for a long time, but they still hold out hope for a second chance to get out of their shelter cage one day.  At the Wayne Township Animal Shelter we are committed to finding our dogs and cats loving forever homes which means matching them with the right owner.  


CHECK OUT ALL OF OUR ADOPTABLE ANIMALS HERE:  www.petfinder.com/shelters/NJ516.html  

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Julie July 16, 2012 at 12:37 PM
Well Done! A very awesome idea!


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