Friday, September 11, 2009

Open your hearts to a stranger

I was recently made aware of a post on a site called An excited mom, Shauna, posted a discussion on the Tampa Bay site announcing her engagement. She soon received many congratulations from several moms. It wasn't until Shauna posted that she wanted her friend, Angela, to be her maid of honor "if we can get her out here" that the moms realized Shauna lived in Texas. Originally, Shauna wanted to get married on 10/10/10 but since her fiance, Derrick's, best friend was being deployed overseas, they moved the date to 10/24/09. The date worked for the best man but not for the maid of honor. The final date was set for 11/1/09. With the date set, Shauna posted the following discussion on the Tampa Bay site:

I am moving up the wedding by a year due to Derricks Best Friend being sent to Afganastan. I REALLY want Angela out here for this day. Is there anyone who might have frequent Flyer Miles they could maybe spare so i can get her out here. I know its ALOT to ask but we are very strapped for money with moving this up. My Family really isnt helping out so we are doing everything. If anyone has ideas or can help in anyway that would be GREAT! Thanks again for everyones help!

Immediately ideas started pouring in for inexpensive flights. No one had any frequent flyer miles but one mom suggested setting up a paypal account for anyone who wanted to donate money. Moms quickly started sending donations each expressing how much they wished they could give more. Others started suggesting locations and ways to have a frugal wedding. Some had met Angela at various MomsLikeMe activities but none had ever met Shauna since she lives in Texas. These moms were opening their hearts to a stranger. One mom decided to take things into her own hands. Faith marched over to the Dallas site and posted this:

HI There,

My name is Faith and I am part of the Tampa Bay site and love it. I have had such a fun summer and have met some amazing moms and kids from our site. Recently, I read a post from one of your members, Shauna, who was so excited to be newly engaged and was planning a wedding for November 1st, 2009. Some of the amazing Tampa moms were willing to donate some money to try and get enough funds together to have Shauna's best friend from Tampa flown out for the wedding........

Well.... to cut a long story short, Shauna has decided to postpone the wedding due to lack of funds. I was thinking to myself..... surely there must be some moms/people/organizations willing to help out Shauna in her time of need. Is there anybody out there on this site in Dallas/Ft. Worth or through any connections that could help out Shauna with: Flowers, finger foods, photography in order for her still to have her wedding on November 1st, 2009 it would be amazing for her. The Tampa moms jump at the chance to help out their fellow site members and am hoping that there maybe somebody in Texas that would like to help out their fellow mom too. Thanks for taking the time to read my message. Please post if you are able to help her out... Thanks from Tampa - Faith

Hope you don't mind me jumping onto your site to post this......

The response was dismal. One mom offered to do a home party for the bachelorette party and a couple others suggested websites with tips for having an inexpensive wedding.

Then Shauna surprised everyone by posting the following:

Hi Ladies I wanted to update everyone on what is going on. We are putting off the wedding due to finances. Everyone should be getting a refund on the money you sent to send Angie out here. I thank you all for your help with this. Im sorry to have put everyone in a spot. Thanks again for everything!

Faith and the other Tampa Bay moms did not accept this new news. Another mom,Kathryn, suggested Shauna put the paypal account back up and see what could be done to get the wedding paid for plus fly Angela out. Faith started a new post on the Tampa Bay site to let them know the latest news of the account being reposted. Frustrated with the lack of help from the Dallas moms, Kathryn all but instigated a showdown between the two sites. Crickets were all that could be heard from Dallas while a noise level that would rival any rock concert was pouring from Tampa Bay. Money, dresses, flowers, guest books, cake toppers galore were being offered to make sure this wedding happened....for a stranger. Shauna and Angela were left speechless and humbled. After hearing about this amazing show of compassion, I knew I had to let the world know. There is so much evil and destruction going on in the world today. It seems negativity has taken over our newspapers, magazines, television, and the internet. It's these little stories of hope, love, and compassion that need to make the headlines. This gives people the warm fuzzy feelings that can ooze across the world if people choose to share, to care, and to give.

I implore you to join me and these selfless moms in a quest to make a dream come true. Oprah does it, Ellen does it, now we can too. Be a part of joining this couple, their family, and their best friends on a joyous day they will remember for the rest of their lives. No one is asking for anyone to go broke in donating. It's amazing how quickly $20, $10, $5, and even $1 can add up. In just 2 days, they raised $80 before deciding to cancel. The account is back up and ready for you to give if you choose.

Join me in opening our hearts to a stranger. Click- Derrick and Shauna- A lifetime of love.

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