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July’s web watch: stories of kindness and compassion at the altar


The summer months in the news are often referred to as the silly season. Unless there is a major event in the news the media turns to the lighter stories. It’s understandable. It’s the holidays season (readers in the US read vacation). People don’t want to be troubled by serious stories of politics and the economy.

It’s a time when the papers dig deeper into more human issues – the kind of thing we at Kudofeed do all year round. This makes our job a little easier as there is a great abundance of stories that we can unearth and share. Stories of human kindness and compassion. Stories of great bravery and of amazing people who dedicate their lives to a cause. And small stories too. Small acts of kindness that ripple out and inspire.

Against the plethora of good news cascading into our inboxes and filling our timelines we were struck by one theme. It seemed that there were dozens of stories around weddings involving kindness and compassion. Thoughtful gestures that made a happy occasion very, very special indeed.

Here are just three of the stories we shared on our Facebook page last month.

We were particularly struck by the bride who hosted a $30,000 reception for 170 homeless people after her wedding was called off. Sarah Cummins suddenly found herself with a venue and enough food to be served to 170 people when she cancelled her wedding to Logan Araujo a week before they were due to tie the knot.

“It was really devastating,” the 25-year-old pharmacy student told IndyStar. “I called everyone, canceled, apologised, cried, called vendors, cried some more and then I started feeling really sick about just throwing away all the food I ordered for the reception,” she said.

Sarah decided to bring some purpose to their pain. After discussing it with Araujo, she worked with event planner Maddie LaDow at the Ritz Charles to rearrange the reception area, then started contacting homeless shelters in to invite residents to the reception.

Obviously, this isn’t the first time weddings have been canceled on short notice, LaDow said. “Some people throw parties, some completely walk away, but none has ever done anything this charitable,” she said of Cummins. “It is very honorable of her.”

The onetime bride-to-be said she doesn’t feel particularly generous.

“I will at least have some kind of happy memory to pull from,” she said. “I’ve worked so many weekends and so much overtime to pay for this, I wanted to make sure it would be the perfect wedding.”

Read the full story here

Another story that literally touched hearts was the wedding of Becky Green and Kelly Turney.

There was an empty chair at the wedding in memory of Becky’s 19 year old sone, Triston, who had died two years ago. She wasn’t to know that she would feel her son’s presence via the man who received had Triston’s heart in a transplant.

Kelly had secretly flown Jacob Kilby, the recipient, from San Diego to Alaska and kept him hidden from the bride until moments before the start of their wedding ceremony.

There wasn’t a dry eye as Jacob stepped forward and revealed himself. Becky recognised him instantly.

“I lost my mind. I squealed like a little girl. I jumped up and down. It was incredible,” Becky told TODAY.

Photographs were posted of wedding photographer Amber Lanphier’s Facebook page. Amber, owner of Love Adventured, wrote “I knew about this surprise but nothing prepares you for the beauty of this moment. I met a man named Jacob Kilby yesterday who is alive because of a heart transplant received from this bride’s son, Triston.

The moment Becky was able to hear her son's heartbeat
Photo: Love Adventured

“I am so blown away by his story and his amazing outlook on life.”

Read the full story here

Brittany Adkins had always dreamed of having her grandfather, Reverend Ronald Adkins, officiate her wedding, just as he had done other sister’s wedding before. But in April 2016 her beloved grandfather passed away making her dream impossible.

A week after receiving the heartbreaking news, Brittany’s boyfriend, Jordan, proposed, and the grief-stricken bride-to-be accepted.

Later, just weeks before the wedding Brittany’s sister had an inspired thought and contacted Jordan. Maybe there was a way they could make the Bride’s dream come true after all.

At the wedding the congregation bowed in prayer and a voice was heard over a loudspeaker. The bride recognised it instantly. It was the voice of her late grandfather saying a prayer for the couple and pronouncing them man and wife.

The bride began to sob. “Different emotions were racing through my head while trying to soak in hearing my grandpa’s voice.” She told Huffpost “I was weak to my knees, chilled, but despite all the tears, I was smiling inside.”

The audio recording was originally from Brittany’s sister’s wedding in 2015, at which their grandpa had officiated.

Wedding photographer Sarah Irvin shared a poignant photo of the moment Brittany heard her grandfather’s voice on her Facebook page, where it went viral.

Photo: Sarah Irvin Photography


“I’ve photographed a lot of weddings and this was the most incredible moment I’ve ever had the honour to witness,” the photographer wrote.

Read the full story here


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