When it comes to giving to YouthCare, there are many ways to get involved and support young people: hosting a drive, becoming a Monthly Sustainer, volunteering, attending YouthCare’s annual luncheon, and more. However, thinking outside of the box, Austin and Steve came up with a new and inventive way to show their support — dedicating their wedding registry to YouthCare donations!

Austin and Steve's wedding
Photos by Amy Buchanan

This creative idea was thought of by Austin, a local software manager and YouthCare advocate. “YouthCare has been near and dear to my heart for a long time,” he said. “I’ve had some friends who were social workers at YouthCare’s Orion Center.”

Personal life experience has deeply connected Austin to YouthCare’s mission. When he was 16, he left his family home in Texas due to conflict around his LGBTQ+ identity. “I was one argument away from sleeping outside,” he said. He went on a “couch surfing tour” for six years, having to also sleep on concrete a couple of times in the process. “I didn’t have a home, but I had a network,” Austin said. “I had so many friends that came and went through homelessness and lived or died. But I didn’t die. It’s a heavy subject…but I made it, my husband made it — and now we’re married!”

YouthCare posters at Austin and Steve's wedding
Photos by Amy Buchanan

Austin’s experiences instilled in him an understanding of and a passion to support young people going through similar challenges. When he met Steve, he not only found a life partner but also someone who shared his desire to support the community. Together, they agreed to use their wedding as an opportunity to support young people experiencing homelessness, and with the help of their wedding planners, Sei and Brittany from Sei Anders Events, they set up donations to YouthCare in place of a personal gift registry.

Austin and Steve holding up hands, YouthCare sign
Photos by Amy Buchanan

“We wanted to try and channel that ‘regular’ wedding energy into donating to a cause,” Austin said. And channel that energy they did, as over $12,000 was raised and donated to YouthCare! We are so thankful to Austin and Steve for stepping outside of the box with their support, and for every donor who joined them in this mission of giving. Their generosity has spread the mission of YouthCare in a powerful and special way.

Cheers to this beautiful couple for their generosity and support! If you are inspired by Austin and Steve’s way of giving, Sei Anders Events is happy to help you plan your wedding and give back to the community!