TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida couple had an alternative to a wedding gift registry.
Instead of asking for dishes, linens, glassware or cutlery, Matt and Kelli Cameron asked their wedding guests to bring school supplies to help needy children at a Tampa elementary school.
"We knew we didn’t need much of anything; anything we did need, we could handle on our own,” Kelli Cameron, a first-grade teacher, told WTVT. “We started thinking of different charitable acts we could do, and as a teacher, I really liked the school supply idea,” she said. “So I talked about it with Matt, and we decided on the idea.”
The couple was married June 9. On their wedding website, the Camerons asked for guests to "bring a backpack filled with school supplies" for an elementary-age boy or girl.
The backpacks were donated to Booker T. Washington Elementary School after Kelli Cameron asked Hillsborough County school district officials to pinpoint a school in need, WTVT reported.
"I wasn't a fan of the whole wedding gift idea, or wedding in general, so to me, it was good because (Kelli) thought it was an awesome idea and I did too, so it just worked out well,” Matt Cameron told the television station.
The gift idea was a success, as more than 70 guests brought school supplies -- and more.
Kelli Cameron told WTVT the backpacks also included uniforms, water bottles, cleaning supplies, belts, underwear and socks.
“Being a teacher, I know a lot of kids come with nothing to school,” Kelli Cameron told the television station. “And you see the kids so excited about the little things: a backpack, or new shoes. It's so important that they can start school excited, and a lot of teachers spend their own money for their kids. This helped out a little bit."