Couple Cancels Their Wedding Due To Covid And Donates The Food To Those In Need

Posted by Zainab Pervez in Feel Good
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A couple from Chicago cancelled their wedding reception due to Covid and donated thanksgiving meals to those in need. They had a small courtroom wedding and used their catering deposit of $5,000 to feed those struggling with mental illnesses and substance abuse.

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Emily Bugg, 33, and Billy Lewis, 34, cancelled their big wedding due to pandemic.

A wedding is one of the biggest events in a person's life. There are a lot of dreams and planning involved and people invest huge sums of money to make their big day grand. But the 2020  coronavirus pandemic has changed these dynamics and people had to scale down on their wedding.  As people can't have huge gatherings like they used to, many couples are choosing to have small intimate weddings with their close loved ones and canceling big fat weddings.

One such couple, Emily Bugg and Billy Lewis also had their wedding planned with their family and friends, but their wedding celebrations got even better when they decided to use that money to give back to others. 

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They decided to donate their non-refundable catering deposit of $5,000 to those in need

Buggs and Lewis had their large wedding reception planned and their major expenses paid already. But they had to change the plans because of the pandemic getting worse and canceled their reception. Now, they were left with the $5,000 non-refundable catering deposit. So, they decided to put it to good use by donating to those in need. They asked their caterer, Big Delicious Planet, to prepare 200 Thanksgiving meals for donation. 

"They said, 'Is there any way we could do something good with our deposit?'"  caterer Heidi Moorman Coudal, who owns Chicago-based company Big Delicious Planet, told CNN.

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The newlyweds and the catering company helped serve 200 meals to people with serious mental illnesses and substance use conditions.

Emily is an outreach worker in Threshold, a nonprofit mental health provider in Chicago that helps people with conditions such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and major depression. Since this cause is close to her heart, she asked the caterers if their deposit could be used to feed hundreds of people struggling with mental illness. 

 

So she and Billy had Big Delicious Planet make Thanksgiving meals with turkey, mashed potatoes, and vegetables for Threshold clients. 

"Everybody was really excited because they knew this food was going to a really good cause," Coudal said. "I think of Big Delicious Planet as a company that gives a lot back to the community -- we donate our time, our food resources, our locations and community garden, so I was happy to get on board with this."

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Thresholds holds a communal Thanksgiving dinner, but it, too, was canceled because of the pandemic.

Nonprofit Thresholds would typically host a Thanksgiving meal for clients in need, but they had to cancel the feast this year due to the pandemic. Instead, the nonprofit and the caterer boxed up the meals, and the couple helped Thresholds distribute them.

"In the grand scheme of things, canceling a big wedding isn't the worst thing that could happen," said Bugg in a statement. "We're happy to be married, and we're so happy that we could help Thresholds' clients feel the connection of a Thanksgiving meal as a result of the wedding cancellation."

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Mark Ishaug, CEO of Thresholds, thanked her saying: 'Emily's donation is an incredible example of the generosity and creativity that the pandemic has inspired in so many.

'I know that Emily's act of kindness will inspire others to do the same and build love and connection in a difficult time, in any way we can. 

'Thresholds is so grateful for our staff, like Emily, who are so dedicated to their work serving those with mental illnesses."

Last year, the community mental health center offered services to more than 8,000 people, including young kids, the elderly, homeless people, and veterans. Many of Thresholds' clients are people who also struggle with food insecurity and live on low incomes. But the non-profit had to cancel their fundraiser this year due to Covid. So the donation couldn't have come at a better time. 

"It really couldn't have come at a better time," Ishaug said. "This is about Emily and Billy, but it really exemplifies my entire staff and how much the people who work at Thresholds care so deeply about the people they serve."

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The couple also donated their venue's deposit to Epilepsy Foundation

The couple had invited 500 guests to a 60,000-square-foot venue, Salvage One. But the couple decided to put the deposit toward a future event for the Epilepsy Foundation, a cause Bugg has a connection to. Instead they got married at the city hall. The photographer, Sophie Cazottes, documented the nuptials at the city hall. The couple met on Bumble in 2017.

The couple's example of creative generosity has inspired others to give back to the community as well. We need more people like Emily Buggs and Billy Lewis in these dark times and wish them a happily married life ahead.

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