My friend, Kait, shared this story with me, and I hope it will inspire. If you know of someone in the Lexington, KY area, please pass this post along. Real compassion involves action and this couple is exemplifying that.
Tanya Ferguson and Christian Torp will host the entire East End and North Limestone neighborhoods at their wedding reception dinner at Duncan Park in Lexington, and instead of handing out favors, will hand out canned goods and clothing to those in need.
“We wanted our wedding to be about more than a dress and a fancy dinner,” Ferguson said. “We live in this community surrounded by people who work hard just to be able to put a hot meal on their table. What better opportunity to care for our neighbors than at our wedding, an occasion that’s supposed to be the happiest day of our lives!” The couple has invited local service organizations to attend as well. The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department will be on-hand to inform community members about its services and Kentuckians for the Commonwealth will be registering voters.
The couple has purposely chosen to live in the struggling William Wells Brown neighborhood so they can provide legal assistance and other forms of help to those without. The groom, Torp, has formed his own law practice dedicated entirely to providing affordable law services. It has been no easy feat for him to achieve.
After a nearly fatal motorcycle accident in 2002 that caused a month-long coma and subsequent Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Christian went on to complete his law degree at the University of Kentucky in 2006, but was banned from taking the Kentucky Bar Exam due to the TBI. After the state found him competent, Christian sat for and passed the bar in 2008. His law firm, Christian L. Torp ESQ., PLLC opened in April 2009 with the mission of “championing the causes of the poor, forgotten and oppressed people of Lexington.”
Tanya serves the children in her neighborhood by providing a free Wednesday night meal and programming she created herself at New Greater Soul Deliverance Apostolic Tabernacle. "We want to fill their hungry bellies and provide their hearts with love," she explained. She continuously seeks donations for hot meals and curriculum. She also volunteers at East Seventh Street Kids Café; sits on the board for the Zion Project, an organization that rescues young girls from sex trafficking in Uganda; and serves as the William Wells Brown Neighborhood Association secretary.
“We want our neighbors, the church and our love for people to intertwine,” said Ferguson. “We recognize that our neighbors are not a charity case, but are deserving of respect and dignity. We have spent time with many of them and look forward to living and working together for our community,” she added.
The Ferguson/Torp reception will take place Saturday, September 4, 2010 at 1 p.m. at Duncan Park. There is no charge to attend the reception and all guests are welcome to come enjoy a hot meal together. In addition to the meal, guests will enjoy inflatables, carnival games and live entertainment featuring University of Kentucky and Morehead State University student musicians.
The couple is accepting donations of food, meal service items, clothes and canned goods. Monetary donations will be used expressly toward providing these items. Donations can be sent to P.O. Box 861, Lexington, KY 40588.