Daniel Koucky and Lindsey Eldridge already have faced harder challenges than some married couples do in a lifetime. They lost their first home, a 1940 house they they were working on restoring, and virtually everything they had accumulated for it, in the May 22 Joplin tornado.
The couple lived with relatives as they worked on buying a new home, replacing all their belongings and starting over – all before they even get married this Saturday in Joplin.
So, instead of thinking up small party favors for their wedding guests, they decided to put that money to better use by donating it for Joplin’s recovery efforts. And they’ll ask their guests to consider doing the same with small placecards explaining their own donation in their guests’ honor and inviting them to text a donation at the wedding for the City of Joplin’s tornado response fund.
“When you wake up the next morning and everyone you own is destroyed, it’s definitely a challenge to keep hope, but if you can get through that you can get through anything,” Daniel said.
Fortunately, neither Daniel nor Lindsey were at the house when the tornado hit. Lindsey got there first afterward and called for their dog, who emerged from a pile of rubble with some treatable wounds.
Daniel said they considered pushing their wedding date back, but decided to stick with their original date this weekend. For many family and friends, it will be their first visit to Joplin since May 22.
He said the text-to-give suggestion should make it easier for guests to consider a donation while they are at the wedding instead of at a computer.
“The people of Joplin need help restoring things,” he said. “I think this could be something good for the people at our wedding.”
To text a donation for the City of Joplin, use the shortcode 41010 and the keyword “JOPLIN” – standard text-messaging rates apply.
The Community Foundation of the Ozarks is using the national Mobile Giving Foundation network for text-to-give efforts.