Happy Friday folks!!
To end the week on a good note, I thought I would share with you a great story I read in the newspaper a few days ago. This was a very heartwarming idea and definitely made me think of something we could do when the time comes that we tie the knot. Besides who needs 4 blenders when kids deserve everything in the world?
Hope you enjoy it!
Wedding guests bring toys for kids
By DEBORA VAN BRENK
The London Free Press
LONDON -- Forget the blender -- cue the giant stuffed gorilla. A Strathroy-area couple who married last weekend made an unusual request of their guests and the result was a truckload of toys for needy kids at Christmas. Fiona and Rick Zwering dropped off "their" wedding gifts at the Salvation Army service office in Strathroy this week. "It was just amazing to see how much people gave," Fiona said. "I'm not an emotional person, but when I saw all the toys, I was crying."
This is the second marriage for both and, as single mother to two boys, Fiona said she's been grateful for the services of the Christmas hamper program in the past. "You know how everyone says, 'I'll give back, I'll give back,' and you never get the chance to give back? Well, this was our opportunity."
"We already have two blenders and three electric hand mixers . . . We joked that we didn't need another 50 blenders."
For pickup, they enlisted Const. Steve Pommer, who co-ordinates the Cops for Tots program, which helps provide Christmas gifts in Strathroy. His truck was so full of toys they couldn't all fit into the back of the SUV.
The gorilla rode shotgun.
"It wore a seat belt and everything," said Gloria Mullin, president of the Royal Canadian Legion Ladies, which catered the reception. The couple's generosity came as no surprise to Mullin, who also knows the couple through the Strathroy Community Players. "That's so Fiona," she said. Guests donated about 150 toys, which ranged from remote-controlled trucks and games to cuddly critters. The surprise donation marked a first for the agency, said Maj. Edward Hayden, executive director of Strathroy's Salvation Army community family services. People often donate food and gifts in lieu of birthday presents but "not for a wedding," he said. "This is great. The quality and quantity of toys will go a long way this Christmas."
Last year's 275 Christmas hampers represented double the number of the previous year, he said. "This year, because of the economy the way it's going, we're going to see more need than last year," Hayden said. Pommer said Cops for Tots passed along the equivalent of $9,000 worth of toys last year for local Salvation Army Christmas hampers. Last year, though, an increase in need and a decline of giving meant Cops for Tots cleaned out its meagre bank account. "This is the first year we've had to start from nothing," Pommer said.
The Zwerings, meanwhile, were a bit embarrassed by the attention, which was quickly making its way through the Strathroy grapevine. Fiona Zwering said the generosity came from friends and family who, without exception, supported the novel idea and went beyond what was asked of them. She said it's a great example to the couple's children -- his six-year-old son along with her 16-year-old and 12-year-old sons -- and, she hopes, a challenge to others to be generous in turn.