Newly Weds Forgo Traditional Reception to Feed Families Impacted by Mental Illness

Billy Lewis and Emily Bugg Source: Good News Network

Weddings may last hours, but marriages are meant to last a lifetime. Chicago residents Emily Bugg and Billy Lewis were excited to be tying the knot and had prepared lavishly for their big day when COVID-19 threw a wrench in their plans.

Unable to have the large gathering they had anticipated, the couple decided to go with a smaller option for their big day and tie the knot at City Hall.

However, their decision left them with one major problem.  Some of their purchases like the catering and venue were non-refundable. The venue was generous allowing them to put their deposit on hold for a future charity event. Now the question was what would Bugg and Lewis do about their $5000 catering deposit.

Bugg, an outreach worker at Thresholds, a nonprofit organization that provides support services for individuals suffering from mental illnesses and their families had an idea.

With an excited thumbs’ up from caterer Heidi Moorman Coudal of Big Delicious Planet Catering  and the blessing of Thresholds CEO Mark Ishaug, couple arranged that their deposit be used to prepare 200 boxed Thanksgiving dinners for families of persons with mental health challenges.

Ishaug of Thresfolds was extremely grateful stating that charitable donations had taken a hit since the pandemic.  Additionally, he noted that Bugg and Lynn’s gift had spawned “the copycat effect” inspiring others to make similar gifts.

“Other people start asking themselves, ‘What can I do for others at Thanksgiving?’ There’s been so much anger and fear this past year … and then we have something like this from Emily and Billy, which is just about humanity and kindness,” Ishaug told the Washington Post.

Additionally, the newly weds have adopted a rescue dog they named June, adding to their family. Despite not being able to wear the wedding dress of her dreams down the aisle, Bugg believes she made the right decision and this was amazing for her and Lynn to start their new life together.

Lewis stated, “I’m lucky to have a wife who is clever and thoughtful enough to change a not-so-good situation into something positive for a lot of people.”

Source: Good News Network