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Couple who cancelled wedding due to Covid uses catering deposit to give Thanksgiving meals to needy

After cancelling most of their wedding events, they decided to use their non-refundable deposit of $5,000 meant for the wedding party food to purchase Thanksgiving dinners for those in need.

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi | Updated: November 30, 2020 10:57:13 am
couple use wedding money thanksgiving, couple use catering money for thanksgiving, wedding money thanksgiving meal, covid 19, thanksgiving 2020, indian expressThe volunteered to handout the boxed meals to the clients themselves. (Source: @thresholdschicago/ Instagram)

Owing to the coronavirus pandemic, a couple in Illinois, US had to begrudgingly cancel their plans for a big wedding. However, they decided to repurpose their catering deposit for the wedding reception to provide meals on behalf of a non-profit organistion feeding nearly 200 people on Thanksgiving. The couple is now earning plaudits online for their generosity and kind-heartedness.

Billy Lewis and Emily Bugg, both in their 30s, cancelled their lavish wedding function owing to Covid-19 restrictions and instead got married on October 1, in a much scaled-back ceremony at the Chicago City Hall. After they cancelled most of their planned wedding events, they decided to use their non-refundable deposit of $5,000 meant for the wedding party food to purchase Thanksgiving dinners for those in need.

Partnering with their high-end Chicago-based caterer, Big Delicious Planet, they donated packaged meals to clients of Thresholds, a non-profit mental health provider dedicated to helping people with serious mental illnesses and substance use conditions.

The boxed meals included servings of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce, salad and cookies for dessert.

Bugg, who supervises a team of community outreach workers for Thresholds, knew how much a good meal on holidays means to the centre’s clients. However, the pandemic changed the scenario and the usual communal dinners were cancelled because of COVID-19 restrictions. “Our members look forward to the Thanksgiving party every year. So when they started asking when it would be and what would happen, that’s when the wheels started to turn,” the new bride told Chicago Sun-Times.

“It seemed like an easy decision and the right thing to turn something that we could have been disappointed at to give to so many people who need it right now,” she told NBC Chicago.

Mark Ishaug, CEO of Thresholds, said that the agency was able to feed more people this year thanks to the couple. “Emily’s donation is an incredible example of the generosity and creativity that the pandemic has inspired in so many,” Ishaug was quoted by Good Morning America.

The couple also went a few steps further and agreed to put their venue deposit toward a future event for the Epilepsy Foundation, a cause that resonates with Bugg.

The couple changed their wedding plans couple of times before cancelling the big event altogether but decided to get married than wait for a seemingly never-ending pandemic to subside. “We had come to a place where we had some big decisions to make. We decided to just go ahead and get on with our lives,” Lewis told Washington Post.

Although there have been few bumps on the road for their future life together, the couple said many have told them that this is a great start to their journey ahead. “I’m lucky to have a wife who is clever and thoughtful enough to change a not-so-good situation into something positive for a lot of people,” he added.

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