Two Weddings Thinking Outside the Box: MissionLink May 4, 2017

Deanna Nolder of Chambersburg, PA has been kind enough to share the following stories of 2 amazing couples.  These couples exemplify the giving spirit of Mission Central.  We are proud to share their stories and encourage anyone else who has done something like this or knows someone who has, to share theirs as well, in hopes that more people may be inspired by these beautiful acts of kindness.



Jared and Jenna McIntire both love animals and will care for them as part of their life’s work.  Both were involved in Future Farmers of America and 4H during their school years.  They both received a degree in agriculture from Penn State.  Jared assists farmers at the Cumberland County Conservation District and works with his uncle in raising turkeys.  Jenna teaches high school students to care for animals as part of the agriculture curriculum.

Their wedding was July 9, 2016.  When their guests sat down at their places during the reception, they found an animal-shaped lollipop as a favor.  On it was a tag:  “A donation has been sent to the Heifer Project with the money we would have spent for formal flower arrangements for the wedding and reception.”  Instead of formal arrangements, each table was graced with a few lovely flowers, simply arranged in glass containers, by the groom’s sister.

The Heifer Project seeks to address global hunger by placing an animal with a family of few resources and trains the new owners to raise and use the animal to improve their own nutrition, as well as to sell surplus products for the betterment of their family’s lives.  The unique request is that the family shares the first offspring with another family, so that many persons can be helped.  Heifer operates by many principles that lead to a just, less hungry and peaceful world.


Another special couple turned their wedding into a giving, not a receiving event.  Ryan and Alexa Stouffer of Chambersburg, sent a unique wedding invitation for their September, 2016 wedding.  “We’ve talked a lot about what it means to love and what a wedding is about and we’ve decided this: The day that we spend together to make a covenant and celebrate our love should reflect what love is and does.  One of the ways we can do this is to serve each other, our friends and family, and our communities.”

They requested that their guests, instead of buying gifts for them, choose one of two possibilities to help those in need.  Their church has established a scholarship fund for Haitian school children.  $127 provides schooling for a child for six months.  Guests could make a donation to the scholarship fund to help change the lives of these students.

The other suggestion for gifts was to bring items for UMCOR Health Kits to the reception where the kits would be assembled.  They used a website called,  so that guests could note on the spreadsheet what items they were bringing.  There were links to UMCOR to show what items could be used.

The simple reception at the church included appetizers, desserts and a coffee bar.  Guests had the fun of greeting the couple, playing games and socializing, as they prepared the items to go into the kits and assembled the health kits.


What a wonderful way for these couples to begin their married lives!  Their interests and their faith led them to give to others in a way that will be multiplied indefinitely and will address real needs in people’s lives.

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