A New York couple has decided to use their wedding and honeymoon budget to give back to other people instead.
In the middle of planning their wedding, Mark and Ismini Svensson chose to ditch a traditional ceremony, and instead they got married at the courthouse.
“We realized that our way of celebrating our love would be different, and we came up with 50 Acts of Giving Back,” Ismini explained to CNN.
The couple, who met while students at Georgetown University, wanted to use their funds to do acts of kindness for people they have never met in each of the 50 states.
“50 Acts of Giving Back” started as a way to honor Ismini’s father, who passed away from a heart attack while hosting a charity event for underserved youth.
Using the hashtag #50Acts, they took to social media to announce their mission and asked for ideas on where to travel in each state. The couple soon received a barrage of responses on Facebook and Twitter.
Some of the good deeds that have already been accomplished include bringing flowers and presents to cancer patients in Asheville, North Carolina; helping the elderly with shopping in Aramillo, Texas; and participating in an adaptive sports camp in Connecticut for disabled children and giving them gifts.
With the donations they received from people across the country, the Svenssons began their own non-profit charity called StayUNITED, with the goal to “improve the quality of life in local communities by creating a brighter future for children and youth,” according to its website.
The Svensson family is finishing the last part of their journey with stops in the Midwest, Pacific Northwest, Hawaii and Alaska, hoping to wrap up by spring of 2015.
"We believe in a chain reaction of kindness," Ismini told CNN. "It's all about realizing us doing our part in something much bigger than ourselves and giving back."