Everyone knows a bride who doesn't really want to be showered with gifts because the couple is already outfitted with the dishes, wineglasses, cutlery, towels, bed linens, kitchen gadgets, etc. they need. But this doesn't mean you shouldn't gather everyone together to have some fun—showers are an important part of uniting a bride's family and friends with her new family-in-law. So, for occasions when a trunkload of gifts isn't necessary, the hostess can ask guests to bring items to donate to charity.
Some ideas ...
• Donate nonperishable food items to a local food shelf (the hostess should deliver the items to the shelf to unburden the bride, but give the donation in the bride's name).
• Kitchen gadgets, cookbooks, sheets and towels can be donated to the Salvation Army or Goodwill.
• A shower held during the holiday season would be a great time to collect gifts for Toys for Tots.
• Guests could make monetary donations to the bride's favorite charity in her name.