Girlfriend Celebrations - Because Girlfriends Make Life Better

Throw a Charitea Soiree for Your Next Girls Night In

Often on GirlfriendCelebrations, we bring you ideas for combining girls night and charity. So we were delighted when Kimberly Wilson offered to share her very own “recipe” for a Charitea Soiree. Kimberly is a teacher, writer, do-gooder, entrepreneur, and eco-fashion designer. She is the creative director and founder of Tranquil Space, named among the top 25 yoga studios in the world by Travel + Leisure, author of Hip Tranquil Chick: A Guide to Life On and Off the Yoga Mat and Tranquilista: Mastering the Art of Enlightened Work and Mindful Play, and holds a Masters in Womens Studies. When not bookstore browsing, she can be found sipping tea, crafting new designs for TranquiliT, or leading retreats. Her work has been featured on Martha Stewart Living Radio as well as in Daily Candy, Fit Yoga, U.S. News and various books. With a passion for do-gooding, Kimberly launched Tranquil Space Foundation to bring yoga, creativity, and leadership to women and girls and is currently pursuing a Masters in Social Work.

by Kimberly Wilson

One way to raise awareness (and funds or goods) for your favorite cause is by throwing a flair-filled fete. Who doesn’t love parties? In my first book I touched on this concept and even created a downloadable tool kit to assist readers in bringing this idea to reality. Many good things start small and gain momentum through grassroots efforts. Good old-fashioned tea parties combined with activism can be a powerful and fun tool for change. A ChariTea soiree helps build community and is a great networking experience. Invite five to fifteen people and ask each to bring like-minded friends: Perfect for getting your name out there as the do-gooding “hostess with the mostess.”

Here’s the skinny: Hosting the soiree in your home allows you to create the complete vibe. If that isn’t possible, look around for a cozy local café that has the same ambience you want to create. Following is the time line for pulling this off seamlessly and tranquilly.

Timeline

Four Weeks Before
-Determine charity to highlight, and request promotional materials.
-Send invites to your fave gal pals and encourage them to bring two to three friends.
-Invite a guest speaker from the charity.

One Week Before
-Send reminder and directions.
-Buy dry goods: drinks, treats, and candles, plus assorted teacups, saucers, and cloth cocktail napkins from your local thrift store.
-Purchase goodie bags and their contents: a box of organic fair trade tea, organic fair trade chocolate, scented tea lights, bath treats, promotional materials from charity, tissue paper.

One or Two Days Before
-Buy fresh food.
-Create a playlist to set the mood (suggested: Madeleine Peyroux or John Coltrane).
-Buy flowers.
-Put together goodie bags.

Day of Event
-Tidy your surroundings.
-Prepare food.
-Set mood: light candles, arrange flowers, play the perfect music for your vibe.
-Set up a treat and libation station.
-Indulge in a restorative yoga pose prior to guests’ arrival.
-Don your most fabulous and comfy ensemble.

At Soiree
-Be the hostess with the mostess: Greet and introduce guests warmly, keep drinks and laughter flowing.
-Introduce speaker from charity.

Day After Event
Send thank-you notes to guests, speakers, and helpers via snail mail.

Tea and Tasty Treats

Here’s my suggested menu:

-Cucumber-mint and goat cheese-watercress tea sandwiches
-Lemon cream scones
-Cookies (butter and/or ginger are lovely tea accents)
-Fresh fruit selection (assorted berries, green apples, pears)
-Tea selection

About tea brewing: An intoxicating brew of tea is essential. Begin with fresh, cold water, and heat it in a kettle on the stove. Prewarm the teapot by rinsing with hot water; a ceramic teapot provides the best heat and flavor. Measure one heaping teaspoon of loose-leaf tea per cup and add to the teapot. If using tea bags, count on one bag for each teacup. Remove the kettle from the heat when it has reached the just-boiling point, and pour immediately into the teapot. Cover the pot with a lid, and brew the tea for three to five minutes before pouring. The larger the tea leaves, the longer the brewing time. Remove the leaves or bags from the brewed tea to prevent bitterness. Serve with raw sugar, honey, or agave nectar. Serve a variety of fair trade and organic green, white, and herbal teas, from chamomile to jasmine to chai. The Republic of Tea, Tulsi Tea, and Gypsy Tea have a plethora of tasty organic options.

Kimberly lives in a petite pink palace in Washington, D.C. with two fancy felines named after French impressionists, a supportive beau, and a sassy black pug. Indulge in musings on tranquilology through her blog and podcast, Tranquility du Jour. Learn more at kimberlywilson.com. For more ideas on divine do-gooding and entertaining with style, pick up a copy of Kimberly Wilson’s book, Tranquilista.


2 Comments

  1. Love this idea! Can’t wait to schedule my Charitea!

    Girlfriends is one of my favorite sites! Thanks for providing such creativi-tea!!!

    Comment by Brigid — May 17, 2010 @ 8:56 pm

  2. I adore Kimberly and was so excited to see her mentioned here. I’m begging her to come to Chicago for an event and book signing. If you don’t listen to her amazing podcast you should download them all, right now. And a charitea is absolutely the greatest way to bring friends together for a great cause. For now, I’m off to meet my girls for a roof party/vegan potluck!

    Comment by Sallie Ann — July 25, 2010 @ 4:44 pm

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