Hurricane Harvey was life-changing for many Houston residents—in more ways than one. Dayna Skolkin and Josh Tilllis were set to get married on September 3, but after the destructive storm touched down in Texas in late August, they opted to postpone their nuptials.
“We didn’t really realize how bad it was going to be,” Skolkin, 28, told People last week. “It wasn’t until the storm hit a few days in that we came to the conclusion that the wedding was going to need to be postponed, just based on the damage that the storm had done, and how much it had affected our community.”
The pair, who had planned to exchange vows at Aishel House, a local organization that provides food and shelter to patients from hospitals, made another big decision: to serve their three-course meals to victims of the storm.
“We knew the way to make ourselves feel better about the situation was to get out in the community and volunteer,” Skolkin said. “It was the first day that we were able to get out of our house and go out in the community. It felt amazing to get out there and do something productive for other people.”
She and Tillis donated the food that they had originally ordered for a welcome dinner prior to the wedding—including mashed potatoes, breaded chicken, bread rolls and vegetables—to those in need.
The act of generosity carries extra significance, too: Skolkin’s late mother played a major role in the founding of Aishel house prior to her passing five years ago following a 15-year cancer battle. Skolkin told People that volunteering at the house helped her feel connected to her mother.
The couple plan on rescheduling their wedding for December, but in the meantime, plan to continue volunteering to help those who were affected by the storm.
“While we were disappointed that our ceremony wasn’t going to happen,” Tillis said, “it was nice that the fruits of our would-be wedding weekend went to such a better cause.”