During the holidays, I heard about some awesome stories of people paying it forward. One person went to Wal Mart and started paying off layaway merchandise for random people...another person started a chain of buying the starbucks for the car behind them that continued for a long stretch.
I hate to use this forum to promote my causes but this is a special case. A friend of mine, Cassie has been paying it forward and doing good deeds for others practically any chance she gets, not just during the holidays. For the past few years, she's delayed her wedding plans because she decided to welcome her fiances twin sisters into their home because the fiance and twins had lost both of their biological parents. She recently shared her story and was selected for a Live with Kelly contest. Below is her letter.
Dear LIVE! With Kelly,
I am so excited to get this opportunity to share our story, and I feel that after reading about our unique situation, you will agree that we may be the most qualified couple for this dream wedding come true! It all started over 5 years ago when I met my Jason. We started spending a lot of time together, but I had plans to go explore the Hawaiian Islands while visiting family for a couple months, so I was hesitant to get into a relationship but I couldn't help myself! He ended up coming to visit me, and we explored O'ahu together! It didn't take many sunsets to fall in love, it was official that week at a lagoon in Ko'Olina!
When I came back to Oregon, we moved in together and things were just great! We were so compatible that with or without a ring, I knew we would be together forever! We both worked full time and had plenty of hobbies to keep us active in our spare time. I had never met someone who shared so many of the same interests and perspectives as me. A little over 2 years after we had been together, Jason surprised me with a proposal in the midst of a cold winter snow storm! It was completely unexpected and by far one of the happiest moments in my life! While discussing details, we agreed that Hawaii would be the perfect place to join lives. Soon after, I attended a bridal show, collected images of my favorite gowns, and loved gazing through Wedding magazines in my spare time. Then, on March 6, 2009, something very tragic happened, my fiancé's father passed away unexpectedly and we got a call from his little identical twin sisters (who were 11 at that time) when they found him dead. In addition, Jason's Mother had passed away due to health complications when his twin sisters were only 4 years old, so at this point, Jason and his sisters have been left with no parents. We took the twins home with us that day, and have taken the responsibility of them since. As odd as timing can be, we found out a few weeks later that I was pregnant. You can call it a coincidence or an accident, but our family thinks of our son as a very special gift. Very quickly Jason and I went from a happy couple, 25 years old, excited to plan a wedding, to an instant family of 5! With the twins adjusting to living in a new home, going to a new school, while struggling to accept the fact that they no longer have parents, getting guardianship, and planning for the arrival of a baby, the thought of the wedding seemed silly. We were both still working full time and doing everything we could to make these kids feel at home while keeping them as busy as possible with sports and activities. Before long, our little baby boy arrived which obviously takes more time, energy, and money than we had. Jason and I were renting a place and decided we needed to buy a house, something more functional for our newly expanded family, but we didn't have a lot of money to put down. We knew that it was going to be a better investment than a wedding at that point, so we decided to invest in a fixer. We got the keys to our house and immediately had to do a 3 month renovation because some of the issues that we thought would be minimal were actually very serious and a lot more costly. We moved the family into the house this last February, and the projects to keep the house up are never-ending, not to mention the debt. We have so much going on with work, the girls separate sports, a toddler, family, etc. that we haven't been able to think about a wedding, much less afford it. We are constantly being asked by friends and family when we are getting married since everyone knows we have such an established foundation, but we want to get married the way we always planned and for the right reasons, not just for a piece of paper that says we did it. At this point, even if we do something small and simple in Hawaii it would be too much with travel expenses. There's always more important things to spend money on, and more important things to think about than a wedding but sometimes while laying in bed, I fall asleep to the thoughts of what our ideal wedding would be like, and it makes me happy knowing that someday it will happen. It has been great pleasure to enter this contest because the thought of possibly winning the giveaway gets me so incredibly excited! It's been a long time coming and though I know it will happen someday when the time is right, it would be so wonderful to have it in February, in such a magical place, on LIVE with Kelly! We want to get married as soon as possible and unfortunately our situation has held us back. We want nothing more than to give our 3 kids a sense of security and prove that we're in this together, all as one, with the same last name. Our son, Ryder, just turned 2 and I don't want him to become old enough to wonder why his Mommy has a different last name, and why Mommy and Daddy aren't married like other parents, and most of all, I don't want the twins to feel at fault because they know we have been engaged for 3 years and life's curve balls have prevented us from moving forward with wedding plans. My Mother takes all her bonus checks and deposits them into a savings account so she can buy me my dream wedding dress, I would love to tell her to take her earnings, and buy herself something nice that she deserves because this prize includes a wedding dress (WooHoo!). I want to have my Dad walk me down the aisle, because he believes more than anyone that our family is not complete until we get married and is always telling us to go to the courthouse. The thought of the twins and our son staying at Disney Aulani and enjoying all the fun activities and amenities this resort has to offer brings the biggest smile to my face, and knowing that our dear family and closest friends could be a part of it brings tears to my eyes. I want nothing more than to surprise my fiancé by telling him that our dream wedding has come true, and that we're getting married in our special place with all of the important people in our lives, without having to stress about it. I hope that you're touched by this story, and will consider us!
Please spend just a few minutes and log into the LIVE site and vote for her. It'd be a really great way for life to finally do something nice for her after all of the great things she's done for everyone.
http://dadt.com/live/contest/hawaiiwedding/ - She is couple #5 (Cassie and Jason)