Jason Maga and Olivia Kohler were at a happy hour fundraiser in Washington D.C. Maga, treasurer of Global Playground, had plenty of friends in attendance, but it was one conversation with a stranger that stuck with him from the evening.
“I asked for her phone number,” Maga said. “It is the first time I have ever asked a girl for her phone number at a bar, and it was the first time she had ever given her number to a guy.”
Maga picked the right time to be bold. Over two years later, the couple now plans to make a donation to Global Playground in place of favors at their upcoming wedding.
“It is a part of our lives. It is definitely something that we are interested in all of the time, so we wanted it to be a part of our wedding,” Kohler said. “It seems fitting.”
Instead of a regular registry with an extensive list of kitchen appliances, Kohler and Maga have included a section where guests can donate to three charities. Global Playground; One Acre Fund, which funds short-term loans to farmers in Kenya; and Alive, a local charity, are all on the list.
“We wanted to be able to do a local [charity], international, and something in between,” Kohler said. “Global Playground bridges both us and overseas.”
Although Kohler initially attended the happy hour because a friend invited her, she was drawn to the organization by its message.
“We are pretty passionate about the fact that we think education is how we are going to fix the world, so I was very interested in their mission,” Kohler said.
In order to honor the organization that brought them together, Kohler and Maga are making a donation to Global Playground in place of giving their guests wedding favors.
“On the table toppers we are going to have a note that says that instead of giving favors we are making a donation to Global Playground,” Maga said. “The fact that we met at a fundraiser for it, it is special to us. We felt it was an extremely worthy cause.”
On the online registry, Maga and Kohler have attached descriptions of all three charities their friends and family will be able to donate to.
“Our hope is that people will look at the charities and recognize how valuable they are and try to give more donations either financially or by looking into volunteering,” Maga said.
The two will be married this April.