Bride and Groom Stop Their Wedding Reception and Send Their Guests to Target — for a Good Cause
Brad and Jessica Bond shopped for Toys for Tots on their big day
Before setting off on a new chapter of their lives, one Florida couple made sure to give back to children in need — with a little help from their wedding guests.
After Brad and Jessica Bond exchanged vows on Saturday in Orlando, the newlyweds welcomed their wedding guests to take a drive with them down to a local Target store for some holiday shopping. But don’t worry, the couple wasn’t looking to stock up on gifts for themselves — they were picking up presents to donate to the charity, Toys For Tots.
“On our anniversary, we go and we shop for Toys for Tots, and we donate it,” Brad announced to his wedding guests after the ceremony, according to News 13. “So today on our wedding day, we want to start our wedding in the same way, but we want all of you to join us.”
The couple started donating to the program seven years ago when Brad took Jessica shopping for gifts on their very first date, she recalled to WSAV.
“It’s something that has been a tradition for us, like, ever since we started dating,” she said.
For Brad, the gesture was his way of sharing something personal with the woman who had stolen his heart.
“We pulled in the parking lot of Target,” Brad said, “[and] I explained my parents have always made Christmas special for me.”
After the couple shared their first dance on Saturday night, they handed out $10 gift cards to their guests and then headed to Target —still dressed in their wedding attire — to shop for the many underprivileged children that the long-running charity serves.
“If we can make some kids smile on Christmas, didn’t matter if it was one day or a relationship, it was successful,” Brad told WSAV.
Toys For Tots began in 1947, thanks to the urging of Marine Corps Reserve Major Bill Hendricks, after his wife crafted dolls for needed children and asked him to donate it to a charity that would deliver them, the program’s website explains. When Hendricks couldn’t find such an organization, his wife told him to start one. After a successful campaign, all Marine Reserve Sites were instructed to implement the program a year later.
Today, Toys For Tots distributes some 10 million toys to 7 million children each year, thanks to charitable people like Jessica and Brad.
“I absolutely love it,” Jessica told WFTV. “I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.”