Weddings that Give Back- Cup of Love

A few months ago Black Sheep Bride shared a proposal unlike most witnessed on Pinterest and You Tube these days… Its was set in the middle of a homeless outreach event and the engagement ring delivered in a styrofoam cup. Why you might ask? Well because that is where this couple’s love was founded, helping others and providing warmth through coffee and hot cocoa to their ‘downtown neighbors’ (the Downtown Jacksonville homeless) via the groom’s non-profit, called Cup of Love. It was something that resonated deeply with me, because I was living in Downtown Jax at the time and quickly became friends with a lot of the homeless folks this couple served every week! So when it was time to tie, you better believe I was excited to see the wedding day photos!















And this is the part of the feature where you are going to want to pull out your tissues, because when I saw these photos of the couple serving their Guests of Honor (the downtown homeless guests) before anyone else… It was such an amazing example of love and selfless kindness to consider someone doing on their Big Day. What a great way to start off their marriage right, by sharing kindness and care to others.




Vendors: Photographer: Chloe Austin Photography | Wedding Planner: Dairing Events | DJ: Jacob Towe | Make Up: Jill Stonier | Hair : Amanda Burke | Cater: Southern Grill | Florist: Lynda Vaderson | Venue: South Point Community Church | Decor:  Ten23 designs, Lotions & Potions,  Amber Veatch Designs

Operation Shoebox Match Making Across the World

When I was nearly 19 years old I decided I would fundraise and go volunteer in the squatter camps of CapeTown, South Africa. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought a trip so impulsive would shape the heart of my existence and create a passion so big to help others. While I was there for 3 months, we received a super fun surprise…. A HUGE crate of thousands and thousands of Operation Shoebox shoeboxes, filled with treats, hygiene items and gifts for children,  was on its way to the Congo and was redirected to South Africa. We were responsible for delivering this unexpected shoe boxes to over 5 townships.

Most of the children receiving these shoeboxes had never received a single gift in all their lives. They opened the boxes with awe and wonder and what was surprising to me was that out of all the goodies, the little candies, trinkets, books, etc… the most valuable thing in those cardboard boxes was the letters and photos from the person that sent it. The children clung to those letters and pictures as if they knew that person on a level deeper than any relationship they ever had. Those children were so grateful that some random stranger across the ocean cared enough to send them those things and you could just feel the love with every letter read.

That experience changed me…. so when I saw this story I was not surprised at the passion Joana expressed (and the dedication) in sharing her gratitude with Tyrel, but I was also beyond over the moon excited to share it with you all!

In the year 2000 a sweet 8 year girl, named Joana, received an Operation Shoebox in the Phillipines, from a 7 year old boy, named Tyrel from Idaho…


After several failed postal attempts to reach Tyrel and express her gratitude for his generosity, Joana turned to Facebook nearly a decade later… and low and behold… The rest is history!

Want to read about their journey from Shoebox to Now… Read the full story here.


*Disclaimer:  Black Sheep Bride is a mainstream & inclusive wedding publication…. We are lovers of all people and have an audience that share, support & respect both non- faith and faith based non-profits that give back! *