Newlyweds asked guests to bring school supplies to their wedding in place of gifts

Published Aug. 5, 2019

Kelli Cameron and her husband, Matt, didn't need new pots and pans. They already had a coffee maker and a blender.

What they really wanted for their wedding was a chance to help others.

So, instead of gifts, the couple asked guests to purchase school supplies for needy children.

Kelli, a first-grade teacher at Roland Park, reached out to people she knew at the school to see which others in the county might be in need of supplies.

The couple then contacted Booker T. Washington Elementary and got a list of items it needed.

A registry on Amazon made it easy for wedding guests to find the right supplies.

"It wasn't much different than going online and making a registry," Matt Cameron said in a video posted on Facebook by Hillsborough County Public Schools. "Instead of crockpots, it was Sharpies and t-shirts and khaki shorts."

The idea worked so well, that at the end of the wedding, two or three large carts filled with backpacks were pushed out of the venue and loaded into Matt's truck. They have since been delivered to the school.

"How wonderful it was that we are able to do that, take something that was about us and kind of help others," Kelli said in the video. "The kids that get the backpacks will be excited for that first day of school and excited that they have a new backpack and new supplies and are ready to start the school year."

Kelli's thoughtfulness was nothing new to Matt.

"I'm not surprised at all that she came up with this and went into it so passionately," he said, "because that's what she does every day."