Santa Helps Homeless Couple Get Hitched For The Holidays

Santa delivered in a big way. He and a kindhearted chaplain helped a young homeless couple tie the knot in an impromptu outdoor wedding, just in time for Christmas.

Chaplain Virginia Howell, a volunteer with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) in Houston, and her colleague, Allan Darnell, who was dressed as Santa Claus, were on their way to spread good cheer to fellow employees last week. They came across a young couple with an 8-month-old baby who asked if “Santa” would be willing to take a photo with their daughter. Darnell agreed and discovered that they were looking for someone who could legally marry them. The couple had just picked up their marriage license, but could not afford the $40 fee to have a wedding ceremony.

“They were sweet and captured my heart,” Howell told Yahoo Shine. “I wanted to help them.” The chaplain has been able to legally perform weddings for two years but had not yet married anyone. Despite her lack of experience, she offered to perform the ceremony for free, and the couple jumped at the chance.

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According to Howell, it had started to rain, so she directed the couple to stand under a nearby awning and asked two HCSO employees to act as witnesses. Howell was able to find out a little bit about the couple before the ceremony: The groom had been discharged from the Army and has been trying to find a way to enter the service again. The bride recently hurt her back and was laid off from her job. They are staying at Star of Hope, a homeless shelter in Houston, while they look for work. (They could not be reached for comment.)

The couple did not have a ring for the ceremony, so Howell gave them one of her own silver rings to use. “The woman tried to give the ring back to me after the ceremony, but I told her that until her husband could get her a real one, she could keep it and use it as her wedding ring,“ she said.

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All told, the ceremony took less than 20 minutes and the newlyweds were was showered with marriage advice before saying their goodbyes. Said Howell, “It was a beautiful moment. You could just tell how much in love the young couple is.”

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