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Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Wish Upon a Wedding Shining Star Award

Wish Upon a Wedding wanted to recognize the volunteer efforts individuals within the wedding industry make in the hopes their stories may encourage more people to get involved in volunteerism.
The Shining Star Award

The Shining Star award is their way to thank and pay tribute to the professionals who, by their demonstrated commitment and example, inspire others to engage in volunteer service. The Board of Directors of the Northern California chapter of Wish Upon a Wedding selected three individuals to recognize.

So, last night turned into an exciting evning. While attending the Blissful Wishes Ball I, along with my colleagues Gustavo Fern├índez (who created Hogs for Kids and volunteers for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep and Rich Amooi (who supports Second Harvest Food Bank and Humane Society of Silicon Valley) were all given recognition for our commitment to community service, volunteerism, and the advocacy work we do. We were told one of us would be awarded the Shining Star award at the gala...

And I'm very honored to be able to say I was given the award for the work I've done supporting Be The Match (The National Marrow Donor Program) through my www.HelpingTami.org and www.MarrowDrives.org websites. Thank you so much to founder Liz Guthrie and the Board of Directors for the recognition. When you do volunteer work you don't expect anything back so it means a lot that others feel what I am doing is worthy of such an honor.

Here's the thing though, to me this really is an industry award meaning I feel it recognizes most of my friends in the wedding industry including Rich and Gustavo. While some of us may have created ways to support causes or we volunteer to help existing organizations on a regular basis, almost all of my friends donate their time and services several times a year to their friends, colleagues, local schools, non-profits, foundations and engaged couples who can't always afford the wedding they deserve. There are also many unsung heroes in the special events industry who donate their time, energy and money to help others but choose not to publicize what they do so I want to share this award with all of them as well.

If you've never volunteered before I encourage you to consider finding time in your busy schedule to help others. Whatever your strengths and passions are there is most likely some non-profit, foundation or community service organization that would appreciate your help. From granting wedding wishes, to helping at a bone marrow donor drive, mentoring programs, hospitals, hospices, soup kitchens, food banks, animal shelters, literacy programs, building houses, community gardens and fundraising there are countless way you can reach out and help others who, for one reason or another, aren't able to help themselves. www.VolunteerMatch.org is a great place to start. Just go to their home page, drop in your zip code and a list of local organizations that need your help will pop up. It's that easy to find out who needs you.

If you would like to help me by supporting Be The Match please visit Helping Tami.org to learn how you can become a marrow or stem cell donor. It was through the generosity of an anonymous donor that my cousin's life was saved. You might be able to help save a life too.

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