Toasting flukes, a fancy coffeemaker, and picture frames to display photos from a honeymoon—those are just some of your typical wedding gifts.
But newlyweds Katherine and Edwin Dean weren’t interested in filling their wedding registry with various kitchen items—they wanted goats.
“We’re both into our fifth decade,” Edwin told News-Press. “We don’t need blenders or housewares. Let’s call great attention to this cause. We felt very grateful to pay back and that’s why we decided to do this.”
Katherine, an entrepreneur from Indiana, donated money for 15 years to help develop a school in Uganda, and Edwin, an emergency medicine doctor from Naples, Florida, spent time volunteering his time in Malawi.
When the two met, Katherine said it was like meeting her “soulmate on so many different levels.”
“It brought us together,” she said. “We’re trying to make the world a little better place.”
When the couple decided to tie the knot, they asked their 185 wedding guests to donate goats in lieu of gifts. Yes, goats.
Katherine and Edwin wanted to raise money for Villages in Partnership, a nonprofit organization Edwin had become involved with that works to improve the lives of people residing in 25 villages throughout Malawi.
“I think people were very moved that instead wedding presents we were asking for donations,” Katherine told FOX 4.
According to Villages in Partnership, goats can be an excellent source of income for “at-risk families” in Malawi.
“One approach we take to combat lack of food and income is to provide families with goats as a source of income,” a charity spokesperson told FOX 4. “One goat can help a farmer produce a fruitful harvest by using its byproducts as fertilizer. We also encourage families to breed their goats and sell offspring to local markets as an additional source of income.”
“Some people bought one, two, four, 10. We did have one group that gave 100 goats,” Edwin said.
The couple hoped to raise enough money to purchase 1,000 goats, and less than a month after they married in June 2018, there were just over 670 goats.
If you would like to donate to the couple’s cause, you can give online here.