I will admit that I am somewhat half-assing this charity post, because I do not have the time nor the energy to catalog every event out there. I have already written about some possible ideas for charity bridal shower type activities, but I wanted to consider the idea of instead of volunteering, having a fun day or evening out.
For a Bridal Shower get-together, consider a fundraiser that supports charity. Buy a table at a brunch, an afternoon tea, or even a swanky evening event (might also work for a bachelorette party). Some ideas (I apologize that I don't have exact dates for many of these):
The Hope Gala - an annual event put on by the Howard County DV center in October.
The Evening of Chocolate - an annual event by NARAL ProChoice Maryland - October 24 this year.
House of Ruth Cabaret - July 16, 2009 - I think this is just a general fun jazzy evening.
You have events like the New Years Charity Ball on New Years Eve.
Women's Law Center of Maryland - Wine and Chocolate event in April
The Mother-Daughter Charity Tea and Clothing Drive in May
Honestly, if you want to consider finding a charity event to attend, just pick organizations you/the bride believe in and see whether they have an event coming up. This is an alternative to a wild bachelorette party or a gift-centered shower. It also means that your bridesmaids don't have to do a ton of work and planning, and your money goes to a great cause.