Couple Cancels Wedding to Make a Syrian Refugee Family's Dream Come True

wedding ringsWhat a beautiful way to start a new life together! A Toronto couple canceled their wedding so they could use the money to help Syrian refugees. Now that's true love.


Samantha Jackson and Farzin Yousefian already had deposits put down for everything from their caterer to the venue. But then, in September, they came across that heartbreaking photo of little Alan Kurdi, the 3-year-old who drowned when his family attempted to make their dangerous escape to safety across the water from Turkey to Greece.

That devastating image had a huge impact on so many of us -- but it made Samantha and Farzin realize they wanted to use their special occasion as a way to help families like Alan's.

"We realized right away that our wedding would be a great opportunity to come together with our friends and family to support this cause, and transformed our wedding into a fund-raiser with the hopes of helping a Syrian family start a new life in Toronto," Samantha told the Huffington Post.

The couple was able to get back all of their deposits from vendors who were happy to support their cause. They exchanged vows at Toronto city hall, and hosted a low-key dinner after. They let friends and family know that instead of presents, they were invited to join the newlyweds in supporting the Ryerson University Lifeline Syria Challenge, the organization where Samantha works. They help private citizens become refugee sponsors, assisting newcomers with everything they need to get settled in their new lives.

So far, Samantha and Farzin have raised over $17,500! Their goal is $27,000 -- if you want to add to their donation, you can go to the Ryerson University Lifeline Syria Challenge donation page (select "Samantha Jackson & Farzin Yousefia" from the gift designation drop-down menu).

The generosity of these lovely people is truly stunning. It gives me hope ... with all the fear and distrust in the world today, including right here in the United States over refugees, it's breathtaking to see these newlyweds make such an openhearted, powerful gesture. They're starting their new life together by helping to give another family a new chance at life.

More from The Stir: 8-Year-Old Girl Helping Syrian Refugees Proves Anyone Can Make a Difference (VIDEO)

I don't have an upcoming wedding to cancel -- and I have to be honest: I don't think I would even if I did! But reaching out to make the world a little bit better doesn't have to involve a big sacrifice. We can all be inspired by this sweet couple to make our own small differences, in our own ways. It all adds up.

Congratulations, Samantha and Farzin! We wish you all the best for your life together -- something tells us it's going to be a beautiful one.


Image via © Tom Grill/Corbis

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