It's always lovely to hear why people chose to make a donation to the Sanctuary, like Paula and Martin who married on Friday 11th June 2010 at Bowood Hotel in Wiltshire. Instead of wedding gifts, they requested their family and friends to give a donation in lieu of any wedding gifts. I asked Paula why donkeys? Here's what she had to say in her own words...
When I was asked to write a piece about why we wanted our wedding gifts to be donations to The Donkey Sanctuary, I must admit, the only thing I could immediately think of, was, well we just like donkeys! But then it made me think… why did we actually choose The Donkey Sanctuary?
Being practical my first thought had been ‘good grief we’ve both lived in separate houses for years and we have loads of ‘stuff’ - it won’t all fit in and we will have two of everything - the last thing we need is more ‘stuff’! We would have plenty of memories of the day anyway, with the photographs and the little keepsakes of the table decorations, etc. Neither of us are particularly materialistic and we wanted to do something special that we could remember, and which would benefit someone or something else.
I love animals. Even when I was small I used to save bees and wasps with spoonfuls of honey, and as I got older I was constantly bringing home, or taking to the vet, injured animals and birds, which I had found and taken pity on. Martin has long since got used to me rescuing sheep that are caught in barbed wire, or cats up trees, and he knows I could never come home knowing I had left something behind suffering somewhere.
As we both already contribute to a number of animal charities, we decided we would like to find a new one which would matter to both of us. We have always said that we would like a donkey one day, when we ‘won the lottery and had lots of land’. As neither of us actually do the lottery, the next best thing would be to help someone else to look after one. Donkeys are such beautiful creatures and they put up with so much sometimes. We humans need to look after them and treat them properly.
So, that was it.
Some of our guests took a bit of persuading - “but, don’t you want stuff?”, “we want to give you something to remember your wedding by”, but they came around when we showed them your website of your great work at The Donkey Sanctuary, and they were more than generous in the end, so a great thanks goes to all our friends and family who contributed.
Our particular favourite wedding gift, however, was ‘Hoti’ the donkey - an excellent, thoughtful gift from our friends, Andy and Karen - not only did we get a lovely fluffy donkey, but the money went to our charity too. Now that is a great memory of our wedding day!