Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Announce 4 Charities for Donations Instead of Baby Gifts
"What an incredibly special surprise the grassroots led #globalsussexbabyshower was last Sunday!"
“What an incredibly special surprise the grassroots led #globalsussexbabyshower was last Sunday!” reads the fifth-ever post on the @SussexRoyal Instagram page, referencing the virtual “baby shower” that fans launched last weekend encouraging charitable donations to celebrate the upcoming royal baby. “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are immensely grateful for the outpouring of love and support in anticipation of the birth of their first child.”
In their new post, the couple gave four suggestions on charities to donate to if fans were still looking to participate: The Lunchbox Fund, Little Village, WellChild and Baby2Baby – all organizations focused on the well-being of children.
“The Duke and Duchess remain appreciative for your warm wishes and kindness during this especially happy time in their lives! Thank you for sharing the love ❤️,” they concluded the post.
In addition to a sweet photo of Meghan resting her head on Harry’s shoulder as he flashed a big smile during their recent trip to Morocco, the post included a number of snaps showing the philanthropic work of the charities.
#GlobalSussexBabyShower – started by Twitter user @freepeeper – began trending among supporters of the couple last weekend. The first charities picked for donations included Camfed, the Mayhew and WellChild. But it widened as others gave to organizations like Sentebale, Harry’s charity for young people in Lesotho and parts of Southern Africa, and One25, which the couple visited in Bristol in February.
At the animal shelter Mayhew, which is among Meghan’s patronages announced in January, they are “all absolutely flabbergasted” by the influx of donations, says CEO Caroline Yates.
“It was such an incredible thing to come in and see on a Monday morning,” she said. “We’re so, so grateful to everyone who has shared the original post and donated to Mayhew, and are trying to thank everyone as quickly as possible!”
At Camfed, which works to alleviate poverty by getting young girls into longterm education, they received 268 donations totaling $11,710.47 – an astonishing 456 percent increase in donations compared to last month.
A spokeswoman tells PEOPLE, “It’s been an extraordinary weekend; we spent all of it on social thanking people as individually as possible.”
A One25 spokesperson tells PEOPLE, “We’re delighted to receive gifts as a result of the #GlobalSussexBabyShower campaign. This generous wave of support will help women on the streets know that they are loved and give them the practical things they need like socks and gloves to keep warm and an umbrella to stay dry in the rain. Huge thanks to everyone for getting involved!”
At WellChild, a longstanding charity of Harry’s which helps children who have serious illnesses, and their families and those who care for them, have had more than 100 donations totaling nearly $3,000 and they are still rolling in.
Chief Executive Chief Executive Colin Dyer said in a statement, “We have been surprised and delighted by the donations from supporters of #globalsussexbabyshower its great that an online outpouring of goodwill can lead to practical help for children with serious illness and their families. We would like to thank all who donated for their kind support.”