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 ambiance you want to create. Following is the time line for pulling this off seamlessly and tranquilly.
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.
- 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.