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Burnside Shelter

The $2 Wedding Gift

Jake and Alexsis Serve Group

Just days before their wedding, Jake and Alexsis Woolsey gathered 23 of their closest friends and family to serve dinner at the Portland Rescue Mission’s Burnside Shelter. “It started as a simple idea… to give back,” Jake said. They fed a warm meal to 274 men and women in need, greeting each one as they entered the doors. In turn, they were showered with well-wishes and advice for a long and happy marriage.

Jake recalled one conversation in particular, with a man named Giovanni. “[He] walked up, stuck his hand out, and told [us] that he wanted to give us a gift. It was two, one dollar bills…He said that he was excited for us, and joked that I would need much more than what he gave me because “marriage is expensive!”

Jake took a moment the next morning to reflect on Giovanni’s gesture of kindness, saying “[It] nearly brought me to tears. It was a monetarily small gesture that I will never forget. $2.00 to Giovanni is very likely a good amount of money to him while he lives on the streets. It was a beautiful illustration of living life in abundance…. Kindness and generosity can be shown in so many different ways… I encourage you to find a way to be generous to someone…. Like Giovanni showed, it doesn’t have to be a big thing to make a huge difference in someone’s life.”

Jake and Alexsis plan to start serving regularly at the mission, and hope to encourage others to do the same. It may not seem like a lot, Jake realizes, but “Never has $2 meant more to me.” 

On behalf of Portland Rescue Mission, as well as the men, women and children that we get to serve, congratulations Jake and Alexsis!