Samantha Jackson and Farzin Yousefian decided to cancel their lavish wedding after hearing some devastating news. They were in the midst of planning their big day when the photograph of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi found washed up on a Turkish beach was released. The young boy was a Syrian refugee who had drowned, along with his brother and mother, after their boat flipped on its way to safety in Europe. Immediately after they learned of this story, Jackson and Yousefian put a stop to all of their wedding plans and instead decided to use their budget to help a Syrian family relocate to Canada. “We realized how all the money we would've put to our wedding would be better used helping give Syrian refugee families the second chance they deserve,” Jackson explained.
The bride actually volunteered at the Ryerson University Lifeline Syria Challenge, so she knew that they'd need $27,000 to help support a Syrian family of four in the Toronto area. By downsizing to a city hall ceremony and small reception last month, the couple ended up with $17,500 for Syrian relief. Instead of asking for wedding gifts, they urged their loved ones to donate to the cause. As of right now, they're still working toward their ultimate goal of $27,000 so they can make a meaningful impact.