January 18, 2013 - 4:55 PM
A photo album displayed beside the cash register at the Dollar Barn in Dallas holds photographs of weddings held in Haiti—an unlikely link between the two communities.
It's part of a 'Hope for Haiti' missionary project with participants from the Dallas Barnhartvale Baptist Church. One project includes travelling to Haiti and holding mass wedding ceremonies where about 20 to 25 couples are married.
Kamloops residents have donated everything from wedding dresses to ties and tuxedos that are washed and reused during the ceremonies.
Dollar Barn is working with a Kamloops resident who is currently in Haiti, by donating picture frames, balloons, photo albums and other needed items. Photos of the project are proudly displayed for customers to view.
"The whole thing is amazing," said Tamara Gabrielli, Dollar Barn assistant manager.
It's exactly what one customer thought after coming into the store and recognizing her own wedding dress in one of the photos.
"She said, 'That's my dress'," Gabrielli said.
Gabrielli said the album has fostered more than just nostalgia.
"Everyone (who) comes in sees the pictures, they love the idea and they love to help," she said, adding that the group accepts donations.
They are currently seeking lightly used pillow cases to make dresses for girls at a local orphanage.
Despite returning from Haiti in about two weeks, the project will continue and the Dollar Barn will continue donating.
"It's something we're going to keep doing," Gabrielli said.
"There's something about knowing where your donations are going."
Find out more or become involved here.
— Jessica Wallace
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013