Newlyweds donate to Big Brothers Big Sisters on their special day
Ashley and Brett Passero and their dog Jackson sitting on the porch of their new home. The couple was recently married and donated money to Big Brothers and Big Sisters instead of giving out wedding favours.
Wedding days are filled with happy memories, laughter and lots of love.
For Ashley Passero and her husband Brett, who recently got married, they wanted to make their wedding a little more special - they made a donation of $350 to Big Brothers and Big Sisters in Fort Erie instead of giving wedding favours to their guests.
The program is near and dear to Ashley, who recently graduated from Niagara University and is now working for the organization as a caseworker.
She says her experience volunteering and working for the local Big Brothers Big Sisters has been an amazing one.
"I wanted to do something that makes a difference. I knew I didn't want to be a teacher, but I still wanted to make an impact for children."
Considering herself to be a practical person, Ashley says she wanted to donate money to Big Brothers and Big Sisters because she has seen the impact that the program has made on children.
"Instead of buying favours, which are a waste of money, we wanted to do something more practical. Why not give money to a good cause?"
Once Ashley explained to her family she wasn't going to buy little party favours that would end up in a drawer, she says everyone thought it was a great idea.
The new wife has been a fundraising co-ordinator for Big Brothers and Big Sisters, an in-school mentor for a child, and she has been a big sister to a teenage girl for the past seven years.
Ashley says her little sister has moved away and is no longer in the agency, but Ashley says she texts with her little sister all of the time and they talk on a daily basis.
"She was a bridesmaid in my wedding which made the day so much more special. It's a wonderful thing to know what I say to her makes a difference and to know that she needs me. It's nice to get to share so many great things with her and when she gets married, she can look back at my wedding and remember she was a bridesmaid."
Ashley says her mom was a single mother raising two kids so she can understand the children who use the Big Brothers and Big Sisters organization. She says her parents have instilled the importance giving back to the community and volunteering in her.
"We ended up with a great step-dad and my mom who gave us so many great opportunities."
Giving back and being fortunate for all the good things she has experienced in her life have been the driving force in her volunteer work.
"I feel like it's our duty because we are in a position to volunteer. You can either donate your time or money and both make a big impact. It's important to support things like Big Brothers and Big Sisters."