Most newlyweds might expect as wedding gifts essential items for transitioning from bachelor life to their marital home. But Jonathan and Jeananne Wickham had a different idea; they presented their loved ones with a very unique wedding gift request by asking for donations to benefit their local animal shelter.
The Ohio couple, who are both 26 and have been together for seven years, chose to help the Wayne County Humane Society in Wooster, Ohio, where Jonathan grew up.
“We didn’t really have a need for anything,” Jonathan explained to Fox 8. “Since we’ve been together so long, we’ve really accumulated everything we could need.
“We had a few people who were like, ‘I’m not bringing dog food,’” Jonathan added with a smile, “But then everybody ended up carrying bags of 50 pound dog food into the wedding venue.”
Both bride and groom openly professed to being “really big into animal welfare and rescue” and took their time choosing the best recipient for their donation. “In thinking about how we could do the most good for something like this, this shelter was the one we decided on,” Jeananne told The Daily Record.
The couple already have six cats, all rescued from shelters. “It may be seven by the time this article comes out,” Jonathan joked.
A couple of weeks after tying the knot, the Wickhams used their wedding guests’ generous donations to go on a shopping spree for items to donate to the shelter. They purchased an incredible haul, comprising 1,200 cans of wet food, 750 pounds (approx. 340 kg) of dry food, and enough cleaning supplies to keep the shelter sparkling for months.
On Oct. 12, 2019, the couple delivered their haul to the Wayne County Humane Society. Shelter staff knew they were coming but were nonetheless blown away by the gift in person. “I think they underestimated how much we actually had,” Jonathan said.
Shelter staff took to Facebook to share the big surprise. “We received a tremendous gift on Saturday from Jonathan and Jeananne Wickham!” they wrote.
“This wonderful couple got married a few weeks ago, and instead of asking for wedding gifts, they asked for donations on our behalf! The funds they raised already helped provide life-saving medical care for two of our kitties.”
The post ended with a grateful shout-out:
“We are so grateful for this amazing display of kindness and can’t thank them enough. Jonathan and Jeananne are pictured with Peaches and Debbie, the recipients of the medical treatment.”
The animal-loving newlyweds didn’t just think of the critters; they also gifted the shelter with Folger’s coffee for the enjoyment of the dedicated staff and volunteers.
Their kindness went viral; the Humane Society’s Facebook post has received over 1,700 likes to date.
Besides supplies, the Wickhams also donated US$2,000 to the shelter for emergency vet bills, and the money was immediately used to pay for much-needed surgeries for two cats, Debbie and Peaches. The cats came to the shelter with a broken leg and a serious eye infection respectively.
“We tried, endlessly, to find a rescue to take them,” a Humane Society representative explained to Fox 8, “[but] we were just kind of striking out.
“This community is tremendous in what they provide to this facility. There’s probably not a day when we don’t get something dropped off.”
The Wickhams’ gargantuan donation will free up precious funds and spare shelter staff from having to purchase more expensive items, like specialty kitten food, for some time. The shelter usually spends around $500 a month on kitten food and smooth paté for the younger kittens that may be at risk of choking.
Cuteness overload! Alex Stokes is at the Wayne County Humane Society where newlyweds Johnathon and Jeananne Wickham donated their Wedding registry to help animals at the shelter.
اس پر Fox 8 News نے شائع کیا پیر، 14 اکتوبر، 2019
“For people of that age to think of others is remarkable,” Wayne County Humane Society board president Brian Bogner told The Daily Record. “People like them help the mission and keep the doors open. We survive on donations like this.”
The Wickhams’ ultimate goal was to aid the Humane Society in being able to use its own money in a more strategic way. “We want to get a higher volume of animals adopted at a faster rate,” said Jonathan.
The newlyweds hope that their choice to ask for donations rather than wedding gifts may inspire others when it comes to planning their special day. “It could be a different cause that they have close to their heart,” Jeananne siad.
Through the kindness of their hearts, Jonathan and Jeananne’s loving pledge to one another became a pledge to so many more who desperately needed their help.
There are ways for everyone to help. In the words of shelter advocates everywhere, “Adopt, don’t shop.”
Anybody living in the locality who is interested in fostering cats or adopting an animal from the Wayne County Humane Society, visit the website at www.wchs.org.
Update: Wickham shared that “[p]eaches, who had her eye removed, has been adopted! And unfortunately, Debbie’s broken leg wasn’t healing properly, so they had to amputate it. Our donations covered her amputation as well as another leg amputation on a cat they named Boomer. “