A single woman doing good for so many
By Caitlin Turner
There was an abundance of cake and wine, friends and family; but Sally Davenport’s 60th birthday was no usual celebration: there were no men allowed, and no gifts.
For the first time in 40 years, Sally spent her birthday as a single woman. Surrounded by the support of her friends and family, she decided to “cheers” to her milestone birthday in a way that was both memorable and meaningful. And what better way to do so than by organising a women’s only party, and asking guests to refrain from bringing gifts?
Her only ask of her guests: if they feel inclined, to donate to her birthday registry.
Around the room, women from Rotorua and Auckland mingled with women from Wellington. Friends from work chatted with Sally’s childhood friends. The question of “how do you know Sally?” replaced the usual “so what do you do?” And the feeling of women supporting women was overwhelming.
One major talking point of the evening was Sally’s birthday registry, and by the end of the night Sally had raised $2100 — supporting the mahi of Wellington Women’s Refuge and reducing the waste that comes with unwanted and unnecessary gifts.
“When you reach a certain age, you don’t need more things,” Sally says. “Especially when you’re in the middle of dividing up assets.” Instead, a QR code displayed both on the table and in the bathroom prompted attendees to visit her registry page. She also shared the link on Facebook, allowing donations to flow in from friends overseas and others who couldn’t attend the party.
“It was so easy to set up,” Sally says. With the click of a button, a donation of her own to get the ball rolling, and a share to her online networks, the registry was ready to start accepting donations from her friends and family.
After looking through the list of worthy charity partners on The Good Registry website, she decided that the Wellington Women’s Refuge was the best fit for her circumstances.
“Not all women are as fortunate to be financially or socially secure when they separate from their partners. I want my milestone birthday — the first as a single woman for 40 years — to do good for other women,” she wrote on her registry page.
And it sure has done a lot of good! The funds donated by Sally’s whānau and friends will provide an immense amount of support and services for women who have experienced, or are currently experiencing, domestic violence. Each $20 donated covers a night for a woman to stay in a safe house provided by the Wellington Women’s Refuge, and every $70 provides a counselling session with a specialist domestic violence counsellor. “I feel incredibly proud,” Sally says of the generous donation.
With many of her friends also turning 60 this year, Sally hopes that others in her networks will follow suit and choose to gift their birthdays too. With 65 charity partners on The Good Registry website, there is a charity that sits close to the heart of everyone — and they all need support to do what they do. If you would like to gift your birthday like Sally has, you can create a registry here.
About The Good Registry
The Good Registry is a website where you can give or ask to receive goodness instead of stuff.
Our Good Registries are for people who want to encourage giving to their favourite charities, rather than receiving presents for their big life events.