Part of wedding planning is completing a registry of gifts to help you start your new life. But while preparing for her own nuptials, one Utah teacher has decided to register for items that will be used to help the dozens of homeless students who attend her school.
Rickee Stewart teaches at Copper Hills High School southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah. When the school set up a food pantry, Stewart was surprised to learn that more than 100 of the students who attend Copper Hills high are homeless.
“One of my students walked up very quietly and said, ‘So, my mom wants to know how I can actually get some of that food,'” Stewart said, her voice cracking. “It’s very real.”
Wanting to do something to help, Stewart decided to create a wedding registry of items that could go to her homeless students. When she sent out her wedding invitations, she gave guests the option of donating items to students in lieu of gifts to her.
“I registered for tennis shoes and Converse and backpacks and winter coats for the homeless kids at our school,” Stewart explains.
Her wedding guests have not let her down. Stewart reached her initial goal even before all of the invitations went out.
She’s even getting donations from people who aren’t on the guest list for her wedding. After setting up a page on the site DonorsChoose.org, Stewart began receiving donations from people throughout the country.
As a teacher, Stewart is also incorporating charitable donations into the curriculum she teaches. She’s teaching business students about organizing a food pantry and teaching finance students to include charitable donations into a budget.
There’s no doubt that Stewart has done an amazing and selfless thing, but she’s not taking credit for it.
“It’s not me. It’s pure kindness of strangers,” Stewart said. “My hope is that we get to not only have this amazing wedding and start our lives together, but that we are able to put some warmth on all of those kids.”