When Kolbie Sanders ended her engagement a week before the wedding date, she had the chance to keep her wedding venue’s reservation for a later time – but the 24-year-old had a better idea: she would give the $3,500 wedding package to any couple who would be willing to get married within the week. Sanders posted the following on Facebook:
“With my engagement ending, I’ve come to find tremendous peace in knowing that I did the right thing for the both of us. With that being said, now I want to do the right thing by others and let some good come out of this decision.”
The post was then shared thousands of times, and as more and more people saw her call for action, local businesses and community members volunteered to help out.
A makeup artist, a hair stylist, and a photographer all offered their services for the big day free of charge. Local bakeries and chefs donated dozens of food and pastries for the reception. Others donated flowers, decorations, and accessories.
After reviewing hundreds of love stories and submissions, Sanders wrote down the names of all of the most worthy nominations and put them into a bowl. She then drew out the name of Haley Hipsher.
Hipsher was overwhelmed with joy. Her grandfather had recently been diagnosed with stage four cancer. Haley was selected as a candidate so that her beloved grandad could see her walk down the aisle.
Amidst the flood of news outlets covering Sanders’s good deeds, she says that she is delighted to grant Hipsher’s wedding wish – but more importantly, she is happy to be so inspired by the flood of compassion and support that has resulted from a simple social media post.
“If there is one thing I’ve taken from this entire experience, it’s this: no matter what, always choose others even when it’s easier to choose yourself,” says Sanders. “This world keeps spinning and becomes a more beautiful place when you take the time to love on your neighbors and put their needs above yours, even if that seems like the harder thing to do.”
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